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We Got Zendaya To Answer 15 Of Her Biggest Fans' Most Pressing Questions

We talked to the Smallfoot star about pineapple on pizza and the power of being underestimated.

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If you know anything about Zendaya, chances are you're a big fan. Not only is she an awesome actor, singer, and style icon, but she's also a seriously great role model.

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She has some seriously dedicated fans, so when BuzzFeed UK got the chance to meet with Zendaya in London recently, we thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to ask her some of their most pressing questions.

We chatted to Zendaya about everything from her new movie, Smallfoot, to her favourite thing about her fans and whether pineapple ~really~ belongs on pizza.

BuzzFeed

What’s your inspiration for your red carpet style, and which of your past looks is your favourite? —racheldashow

BuzzFeed, Larry Busacca / Getty Images

I have a lot of references — my stylist, Law [Roach], who I’ve been working with since I was, like, 14 years old, often brings some vintage references, or sometimes we have very literal references and sometimes we play in different eras. It's whatever feels right and whatever feels good.

I have a lot of favourite looks, to be honest. There was a Met Gala where I wore a bowl cut, that was one of my favourites. I wore a butterfly dress for one of the Greatest Showman premieres in Australia, and that was one of my favourite dresses. I just thought it was so cool, because I literally was, like, a butterfly. I don’t know, it was just sick. It was tight!

Who is one actor you’d love to work with, but haven’t yet? —zoeg

BuzzFeed

I mean, Denzel. ‘Cause he's, you know...Denzel. Obviously.

“Wonderful Life” is a song about learning to appreciate the beauty in the little things around you. What does the song specifically mean to you? —comealivedaya

BuzzFeed

Hey girl! I know this person from Twitter. I often visit comealivedaya’s page, so, hey. How are you?

To me it just means that curiosity and learning and all those things we naturally have are good things, and we should go out there and try to learn as much as we can and keep our minds open. I try to encourage my fans to learn as much as they can and soak up as much as they can. I think when you’re young is the best time to soak up all that knowledge.

If you could choose any character from any past film to play, who would it be and why? —porcupinegoldstein

BuzzFeed

I’m not one of those people that’s like, “I have to play this character.” Sometimes characters come along and you just kind of connect with them. I mean, I was never like, “You know what, I’m gonna do a movie musical about the circus, and it’s gonna have Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in it.” It just happened, and I was like, “This is dope, I’m gonna do it.” I just keep my mind open.

What inspires you most about Meechee, your character from Smallfoot? —almightyhavahna

BuzzFeed

She’s supposed to be the Stonekeeper’s daughter, which means she’s supposed to act and think a certain way, and I think it’s cool that she doesn’t. She’s actually the opposite of what people expect her to be and she doesn’t let herself be defined by everybody’s standard of what she’s supposed to be.

She’s curious, and she’s interested in finding things out. She creates this society of Smallfoot finders. That’s something that’s a no-no, and that she’s not supposed to do, but she’s actually the founder of it. I think it’s cool that she does her own thing.

What advice would you give to young people about using their voice and fighting against social injustice? —comealivedaya

BuzzFeed

That’s a big question. I think the most important thing is to follow your heart. Sometimes when you hear things — and we hear it so much nowadays — it weighs on you and it’s heavy on your heart. You just have to let that off, do what you can, and speak out. I think as long as you’re leading with love and with the right intentions, that’s the best way to do it.

Never be afraid to have a voice and to know the power of it. I say that often, and it’s often easier said than done. It’s easy to say, “Speak up and everything will be fine!” Because it’s hard sometimes. But I would say you do have a voice, and it is important, and you should use it.

How did being an actress from such a young age influence your career? —farrahf3

BuzzFeed

I’ve been in the industry for a really long time — since I was 13. I started when I was really young. I think in some ways it forces you to grow up really quickly. You’re put in a lot of mature settings and you learn how to be an adult really quickly, because you’re surrounded by them.

I would also say that I’ve learned a lot, meaning I have the knowledge of someone a lot older than me, just because I’ve been doing this for such a long time. I think that’s the cool part — a lot of people underestimate me, because I’m still young. They think, “oh, we can do this, or we can go around this” or whatever, just because I’m young and I don’t know any better. But here’s the thing — I do know better. That’s how you get ’em.

If you could cast anyone to play you in a movie of your life, who would it be? —zenfieya

BuzzFeed

I kind of got my dream casting as my little sister with Storm [Reid, in upcoming Euphoria]. As she’s come up, I’ve always been told, “Oh my gosh, she looks just like Zendaya!” So when a role for my little sister came around, I was like, “Storm! We have to work together!” She’s adorable and she’s awesome.

Of all the roles you’ve played, which character do you personally relate to the most? —alexaorr

BuzzFeed

I think all these different characters you play, you find something about them that returns back to you, even if they’re extremely different or a very extreme version of yourself. Every character I’ve ever played — including an animated yeti — I have found something that really feels connected to them. There’s always some kind of human connection to these people, and that’s how you’re able to play them.

Surprisingly, I have been able to relate to a yeti. And not just because I’m tall and have big feet.

What meme of yourself was your favourite? —falloutbay

BuzzFeed

My fans do this thing — pretty much in every interview, I give them reaction pictures of me. I’ll do a face, and they’ll take that screenshot and use that for the rest of my life. I’m very animated in my face sometimes, so I’m made a meme often by them. And you know what? I love it. I often use my own face as reaction pictures, because you know, who understands me more than me?

If you could star in any Broadway show, which would it be and why? —bhoomika

BuzzFeed

I have a ton of respect for live performers. Like, Broadway actors who have to every day get on that stage and deliver emotion live, one take, no take-backs, that’s just what happens and you can’t mess up. I think that’s awesome. I grew up in the theatre and I grew up watching that, so I have tons of respect for it.

Do I think I could do it every night? I don’t know. I think it would stress me out and I would get massive anxiety. But shoutout to you guys, because you guys are the real MVPs.

Which of the achievements you’ve had in your career so far are you most proud of? —spiideydaya

BuzzFeed

That’s a big question, and I would hope the biggest achievements in my career are yet to come. I personally really love when fans and people come up to me and have real conversations with me and say thank you for this moment, or I appreciate what you said about this. It’s nice to be appreciated for being a good person and not just your projects. It’s nice to be like, yo, I like you as a person, and that’s cool. I appreciate that. That is a big achievement for me. Not being an asshole. [laughs]

What’s your favourite thing about your fans? —nessacami

BuzzFeed

I enjoy that my fans, I feel, keep it real with me. They’re honest with me. They love me, and they’re very sweet, and they support everything I do, which I’m very lucky for, but they also keep it real with me. Like, apparently they have this thing against me using the laughing emoji, because that’s not cool any more. Apparently it’s all about the keyboard smash, which I didn’t know was even a thing, because I’m a grandma and I don’t understand how social media works any more. They get irritated every time I do that.

Every time I make a spelling error — I’m just not a good speller, it’s not my thing. Some things you’re good at, some things you’re not. Spelling? Not my thing. They screenshot and post immediately, no matter how fast I delete it! They have it right there, ready to check me on my spelling. I’m thankful for that and I appreciate them keeping it real.

If you could trade lives with anyone on the planet and live in their world for a day, who would it be? —Keisha Perera

BuzzFeed

I know this is the corny answer, but I’d like to keep my life. I’m happy being myself. I’m cool with me. I’m gonna stick with me, but if I had to, maybe Beyoncé or Rihanna would be nice. But I’m gonna stick with me.

What’s the most unexpected thing on your bucket list? —sameaa

I don’t know — I don't even have a bucket list! I just like to live and see what happens.

And finally... Does pineapple belong on pizza? —lilyw

BuzzFeed

No. It doesn’t. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t, and you may feel differently about me after saying that, but do you know what? I don’t care. That’s how I feel. I’m an avid non-pineapple-on-pizza person. I mean, come on!

Thanks for chatting with us, Zendaya! Smallfoot is in UK cinemas from Friday, October 12, and in US cinemas now.