Zendaya Opens Up About Her Struggle With Anxiety

Some people might assume that those who embark on a career in the performing arts are at ease in front of a crowd, but that isn't always the case. Zendaya, for example, struggles with anxiety. In a recent interview with GQ, the actress spoke about how her shy personality has caused people to misjudge her over the years.


"In this industry, I had to learn how to do small talk and stuff, because I guess I would kind of come off cold to people because I didn't really know how to start conversation," she explained. "I remember my stylist was like, 'You come off kind of cold. People think you're mean because you don't talk,' when really I just was too nervous."

Zendaya added that she also feels a lot of pressure to succeed. "I think... that me wanting to control everything is just not wanting to f*** up," she said. "Not wanting to let anybody down."

Zendaya is learning how to cope with her anxiety

This isn't the first time that Zendaya has opened up about battling anxiety. In a 2020 interview with InStyle, the Euphoria star said that her anxiety first surfaced in school in the form of test anxiety and again in her teens when she was attacked by internet trolls.


Zendaya has worked hard to cope with her anxiety and is still figuring out what works best for her. "I definitely don't have it under control yet," she said. "I don't have the key, so if anybody does, let me know! I do find that talking about it is helpful, and that can often mean calling my mom in the middle of the night. Sometimes I make her sleep on the phone with me like a frickin' baby."

Zendaya's role in Euphoria also helped in a way. On the show, she plays Rue, a character who also has anxiety. "Rue has such a darkness to her, but also an innocence," Zendaya told Elle. "I have to be super vulnerable and sad in front of people. It's weird, but cathartic in a lot of ways."