‘She Is a Woman’: John David Washington Speaks on Concerns About Age Gap Between Him and Zendaya as the Two Prepare for Release of Their New Film ‘Malcolm & Marie’

The trailer for John David Washington and Zendaya‘s new Netflix film “Malcolm & Marie” sparked excitement among Black Twitter earlier this month. Fans appear to be eager to see what many call one of Zendaya’s best performances to date.  

Still, where there is praise, there is a hint of criticism. Despite the beauty of it all, many are concerned about the stars’ 12-year age disparity — with Washington being 36 and Zendaya 24. 

(L-R) John David Washington and Zendaya. Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

However, during an interview with Variety, the “Tenet” star expressed that he hasn’t been worried at all and that Zendaya had the most experience and wisdom when it came down to the two performing out their roles. “I wasn’t concerned about it because she is a woman. People are going to see in this film how much of a woman she is,” Washington explained. “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.”

“I’m the rookie,” the “BlacKkKlansman” star quipped. “I was leaning on her for a lot. Some of the stories she’s shared about what she’s had to go through with Twitter and everything. I appreciated her wisdom and discernment when it comes to this business. I admire that.”

Washington further praised the Disney alum, saying, “what I’m really excited for people to see when the film is released — they’re going to see how mature she is in this role.”

Not everyone had an issue with the stars’ age gap. Instead, one discussion seemingly opened up another — about favoritism in Hollywood. One Twitter user wrote, “20 y/o zendaya and 30 y/o zac efron didn’t make this much noise so why is this any different y’all are so annoying.” They later shared another post, saying, “pls stop babying z she left Disney for a reason 🙏🏾.”

Meanwhile, another person commented, “We all know it’s bc he’s black, that’s literally it. And this doesn’t fit their swirl fantasies 🤷🏾‍♀️.”


“Also they are actors??!!!” a third expressed. “Not actually together Harry just got seen wit Olivia Wilde that’s a 10 year age gap and no one is screaming bout it ??”

The movie description of “Malcolm & Marie” points out that it’s not a love story, but instead a story of love and the events that take place between a director and his girlfriend who find their relationship challenged after the debut of his latest project. 

This film will premiere on Netflix on Feb. 5. 

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