Zendaya Opens Up About Performing at Coachella: 'Being Onstage Is Really the Worst'

"I have a lot of negative experiences with the music industry," Zendaya told ELLE, but said Coachella was ultimately a positive one

Zendaya found performing at Coachella earlier this year to be somewhat challenging, but ultimately "special."

In an interview with ELLE , the Challengers actress opened up about her experience joining Labrinth onstage at Coachella in April to sing their collaborations “All for Us” and “I’m Tired,” which were featured in season 2 of Euphoria.

For Zendaya, the experience was monumental, considering it was the first time she had performed live onstage since her teen years.

“I have a lot of negative experiences with the music industry, and being onstage is really the worst,” she said in the September 2023 cover story. “It carries a lot for me, and I was afraid to open that door again. But I was also like, ‘You can’t run away from this forever.’”

Even though Zendaya, 26, revealed afterward on Instagram Stories that she couldn't hear herself through her earpiece during the performance, she was able to shift her mindset.

<p>ELLE Magazine/ Steven Klein</p> Zendaya for ELLE

ELLE Magazine/ Steven Klein

Zendaya for ELLE

Related: Zendaya Says 'Challengers' Gives Her a 'Grown-Up Role': 'Can't Play a Teenager for the Rest of My Life'

“I had to be like, ‘Dude, take a second and look at how special this is. These people are giving you so much love and energy,’” she told the outlet. “I’ve never experienced that before. That blew my mind.”

Zendaya continued, “I had to go, ‘Stop thinking about the f---ing technical stuff. Like, it’s fine. Like, whatever. It’s not going to be perfect. You haven’t been onstage in front of that many people ever in your life. Enjoy the fact that you did it. You got over your fear. You did it, and these people enjoyed it with you, gave you love and energy, and were excited that you were there. That’s enough.’”

Elsewhere in the conversation, the Euphoria star opened up about her “first time really being a leading lady" in the forthcoming drama Challengers where she'll play Tashi, a tennis star who becomes a coach following an injury but finds herself in a love triangle with her husband, Art (Mike Faist), and her ex-boyfriend, Patrick (Josh O'Connor).

<p>ELLE Magazine/ Steven Klein</p> Zendaya

ELLE Magazine/ Steven Klein


Related: Zendaya Slams ‘Hurtful’ Internet Rumors After Viral Louis Vuitton Seating Mishap with Stylist Law Roach

“I felt like it was a good step into a more, I guess you could say, ‘grown-up’ role and into that next phase,” she said of starring in the film. “It was a little bit scary to take on, which I think is a good feeling. To be like, ‘Ooh, can I do this?’ You could run from that feeling and stay safe and comfortable, or you can go, ‘You know what, f--- it.’”

There's been a lot of hype surrounding the movie since the release of its trailer in June, which was cheekily set to Rihanna's hit "S&M" and featured the three competitors enjoying a raunchy throuple entanglement on a hotel bed.

Challengers will be released April 26, 2024, shifting from its original Sept. 15, 2023 release due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes causing a Hollywood standstill.

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