Zendaya Says She Is ‘Not Confident Enough’ to Make Her Directorial Debut — Yet

Zendaya may be an Emmy-winning actress and executive producer, but she’s biding time before stepping behind the camera as a director.

The “Challengers” actress and executive producer told the New York Times that she is still “learning” that craft from auteurs like Denis Villeneuve (“Dune: Part Two”) and Luca Guadagnino (“Challengers”). Villeneuve and Guadagnino think she’s ready today.

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“I’m overly conscious of everything else around me,” Zendaya told the New York Times, speaking to a general hyperawareness. Guadagnino jumped in: “Because Z is a director. I told you many times, and I repeat it now to The Times.”

Zendaya revealed in 2022 that she was slated to direct “Euphoria” Season 2 Episode 6 but decided to wait until the now-delayed Season 3. She told the New York Times that she still is not “quite confident enough to step into directing” even two years later, though.

“I love being on set because it is not just creatively stimulating, but it’s one of the few places where I feel free,” she said. “Whatever that thing in my brain is where it’s overly critical and self-conscious, that is the one place where I can be spontaneous and exist for the purpose of just creating something with other people and feel no guilt about it. But I’m not at the place where I’m quite confident enough to step into directing.”

So she’ll keep learning from the other side of the camera.

“I get to be with the greatest around me all the time, and I’m like, ‘Let me sponge and get as much from this as possible,'” she said. “For many years, I was embarrassed to ask questions — I was like, ‘I don’t want to waste people’s time.’ But you’d be surprised at how many people are like, ‘Oh my God, come on in. This is this film stock, this is the reference for this shot.’ People love sharing what they do, and I’m lucky to be in a place where I can absorb it.”

Like observing Guadagnino, for example.

“I’m still blown away when I watch people like Luca: There’s five people coming up to you, asking you, ‘This or that?’ or ‘What’s next?’ and he has to have an answer,” she said. “I’d find myself like, ‘I just want to make everybody happy, what do you need?’ Once I feel more confident in my assertiveness or decision-making, then I feel like then I’ll be able to take that step.”

“Hopefully one day that confidence will kick in, but until then, I’ll just keep learning,” Zendaya said.

School was also in session on the “Dune: Part Two” set, and Zendaya sat in the classroom’s front row. Villeneuve previously said during “The Director’s Cut” podcast that the actress was observing all of the details of being on set.

“She’s so clever, but shows she’s brilliant and her strong presence, and she was always on set even when she was not shooting,” Villeneuve told Steven Spielberg. “Just sitting between cinematographer Greg and I listening, listening and listening. So I would not be surprised that one day we learn that she wants to go behind the camera.”

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