Zendaya says she motivates herself to work out by pretending to be a character who wants to work out

Zendaya would use old wigs from red carpets to help her work out. Steven Ferdman/Getty Images
  • Zendaya said that to motivate herself to work, she pretends to be a character who wants to work out.
  • Zendaya told Stephen Colbert: “It’s inspiring. Let me tell you, it’s motivating. It got me outside.”
  • Zendaya said she dresses in wigs from old red carpets to get into character.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Zendaya said that she motivates herself to work out by dressing up in wigs from old red carpets and pretending to be a character who wants to work out.

Zendaya was appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to promote her new Netflix movie “Malcolm & Marie,” in which she stars with John David Washington. The actress told Colbert that while she was in lockdown, she wanted to ensure she was doing “more physical activity.”

“I was like, ‘I need to start getting my blood pumping, I need to be outside more, I can’t just stay inside and not do anything all day.'”

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Zendaya and John David Washington in ‘Malcolm & Marie.’ Dominic Miller/Netflix

Zendaya said she told her assistant that she wanted to work out every day but, often, it was hard to inspire herself to do this. That’s where her old wigs from previous red carpets came in.

“So every day, because I missed acting so much, I decided — to inspire me to go downstairs and work out … I’d wear a different wig, come down in a different character and try to entertain him and make him laugh every single day.”

Colbert joked: “So you don’t feel like working out but the character you’re playing feels like working out?”

“Exactly. Some inspiration, you know what I’m saying?” Zendaya said, telling Colbert that missed playing characters. “It’s inspiring. Let me tell you, it’s motivating. It got me outside.”

This wasn’t the only physical activity Zendaya discussed with Colbert. Zendaya told the chat show host that while shooting “Dune,” she would have dance parties in her room with Timothee Chalamet, who would bring in music on a speaker.

Eventually, the whole cast would join in, and Colbert guessed that Javier Bardem was the best dancer amongst them.

“Listen, he peaked in, and he was grooving. I was like, ‘OK, Javier!’ He had the moves, I was very impressed,” Zendaya said.

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Zendaya in ‘Dune.’ Chiabella James/Warner Bros. Pictures

Zendaya has been promoting “Malcolm & Marie” extensively this awards season, and she could be up for an Oscar. Some, however, have criticised the age gap between her and her onscreen partner John David Washington. Zendaya shut this down herself though in a recent interview with People.

“People often forget — which is understandable because I’ve been playing 16 since I was 16, you know — [but] I am grown.”

Meanwhile, Washington also dismissed these criticisms in an interview with Variety in which he said people who see the film will see “how much of a woman she is.”

“She has far more experience than I do in the industry. I’ve only been in it for seven years. She’s been in it longer, so I’m learning from her.”

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