Every year, it seems like Zendaya can’t get any bigger--but, somehow, she manages to prove us all wrong. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that she made the Time 100 list this year, being named one of the most influential people of 2022.
After her role in Dune at the tail end of 2021, the former Disney Channel star finished out the year by starring in her third Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: No Way Home.She started 2022 with a bang, releasing the second season of her beloved HBO series, Euphoria. This comes after taking home an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Season 1 in 2019.
Now, Zendaya is in Boston filming her next project, Challengers, preparing to reprise her roles in a Dune sequel and a third season of Euphoria. Her career isn’t slowing down any time soon, something Dune director Denis Villenueve highlighted in his tribute for her placement on the Time 100.
“To me, Zendaya is a thousand years old. She has already lived many lives before this one. And yet, she is as young as springtime,” Villenueve wrote about the actress. “By some inextricable paradox, she also gives the impression of having been born sometime far into the future. She is timeless, and she can do it all.”
The director continued, “In just the past year or so, Zendaya has radiated like a shooting star captured on celluloid in Sam Levinson’s Malcolm & Marie. She emotionally exploded as her teenage years disintegrated in Levinson’s cultural phenomenon Euphoria. She shone in Spider-Man: No Way Home, a movie that dominated the box office in a year when she became the muse of extremes.
“But Zendaya is much more than that,” he said, concluding his letter. “She is an autonomous creative force herself. A cultural icon in the making. A person driven by pure inspiration, empathy, and respect for her craft, who uses authenticity as a new superpower. She seems fearless, her roots run deep, and I love that she still laughs like a kid. Zendaya is the future. And there is nothing more comforting to me. This is only the beginning.”