Los Angeles: Actor Zendaya says she doesn't like to call herself an "activist" as she believes she is an actor first. The "Spider-Man: Far From Home" star said the term should be earmarked for someone who "devotes" their life to a certain cause.
"I have always hesitated to use the word 'activist' for myself. That is a lifestyle. That is a choice every day to be doing the work and devoting your life to a cause. And I don't feel I am deserving of the title. There are a lot of words that better describe what I do. I'm an actress, but I'm also just a person who has a heart and wants to do the right thing. I care about human beings, so this time is very hard to talk about. It's painful," Zendaya told InStyle magazine.
The 23-year-old actor also revealed that she feared for the safety of her African-American father Kazembe Ajamu after two black men were shot dead by the police in 2016. "I remember when I was with my dad in Atlanta shooting the first 'Spider-Man' movie, and it was around the time that the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling happened. I was extremely emotional, and I remember thinking about my dad, who was out picking up food at the time," Zendaya said.
"And I started worrying and calling him like, 'Are you ok?' I didn't want him to go out and do anything. But my dad is a 65-year-old black man. He's been on this planet a long time, so he knows what he knows. But I still had that fear, and that scared me," she added.
On the work front, the actor will next star in Denis Villeneuve's "Dune", alongside Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin and Jason Momoa. Zendaya will also feature in Sam Levinson-directed "Malcolm & Marie", opposite John David Washington.
Recently, she received her maiden Emmy nomination in the lead actress in a drama series category for the role of Rue Bennett, a recovering teenage drug addict, in HBO's "Euphoria".