By Dina Ginzburg
SHAKE IT UP: MADE IN JAPAN is the first movie from Family’s SHAKE IT UP. When Rocky and CeCe travel to Japan to star in a dance video, things don’t go as smoothly as planned!
We caught up with Zendaya, who plays the clever Rocky. Here’s what she had to say:
How did you get your start in acting?
Well, my mom has worked with the California Shakespeare Theatre ever since I was two years old. I grew up around the theatre, so my love for it came by just being around it so much. I was an eight-year-old that was in love with Shakespeare… that doesn’t happen very often!
Congratulations on signing with Hollywood Records! Has singing always been something that you wanted to do?
Singing is in my blood and it’s something that I love, along with dancing and acting. I’m really excited that I’m now going to do it and spread it to all my fans. I’m mostly excited for my fans to hear more and learn about who I am. It’s just another way to connect with them.
How’s your Swag It Out tour going?
It’s going great! I’ve been doing a lot of rehearsals and I recently got to go back to my hometown to perform. That was an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to actually start touring. It’s an incredible experience. I’m not only working with some of the most talented kids that I’ve ever met in my entire life, but I’m also working with friends. Every single one of them I consider a friend. I’m really close with them, so it’s non-stop fun for us!
If you had to choose between being an actress or a singer, which would it be?
I couldn’t choose! I think they’re both equal parts of myself and without either of them, I wouldn’t really be who I am.
Did you know how to dance before you signed on to SHAKE IT UP?
Yes, I actually had a dance background, so that made it a lot easier!
Your fans are known as “Zswaggers.” How did that name come about?
I had an independent single that came out called “Swag It Out.” From there, “Zswaggers” just kind of formed. It kind of came about on its own!
You have an amazing sense of style! Is fashion something that you’re passionate about?
I love fashion and I love clothes. My new song is “Fashion is My Kryptonite.” I think it’s a great way to express who you are. There are so many different ways to do that, but I love doing it through my clothes. One of the first things you see when you meet someone is their style. It’s just a fun way to express who you are individually.
How was working with Kat Deeley on the music video for “Fashion is My Kryptonite”?
It was awesome! She’s so great and we love her. She’s such a sweetheart and every time she’s on set, she’s so nice and kind. It was great seeing her again and we’d love to have her back anytime.
What was the biggest difference between filming a regular episode of SHAKE IT UP and filming MADE IN JAPAN?
The MADE IN JAPAN episode is basically a movie. If you think about it, we had a shoot a whole movie in 10 days, which is not easy to do! It was difficult because we had no time for rehearsals, so we had no idea how it was going to go. But we pulled it off and, might I add, we pulled it off quite nicely! Honestly, I can’t wait for everyone to see it because it’s something that everyone in the cast is truly proud of.
You’re turning sixteen soon! Any plans for the big day?
Yes, we’ve been planning it for awhile now. My mom is in hardcore plan mode because I’m so busy! She’s been on the computer, trying to help out with invitations and everything. She’s in the zone! We’re going to have a big birthday bash and it’s going to be great! It’s going to be friends, family, the whole shebang!
Thanks, Zendaya! Happy early birthday!
SHAKE IT UP: MADE IN JAPAN premieres tomorrow at 8 p.m. on Family, so be sure to tune in!