Zendaya opens up about importance of 'safety' during Challengers sex scenes

The intimacy coordinator was crucial to the process

Zendaya attends the "Challengers" Paris Photocall at Maison De L'Amerique Latine on April 06, 2024 in Paris, France.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya's latest role is in tennis-based drama/romance Challengers, out 26 April, in which she stars opposite Josh O'Connor and Mike Faist.

The film is quite sexy in nature, so the cast had some support when filming the more erotic scenes throughout — something which Z herself has said was incredibly important.

"We had an intimacy coordinator which was fantastic and very helpful, because it was important that we felt safe," the actress said during a promo stop in Rome (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Zendaya added: "I spoke with my colleagues so that we could find a way to feel at ease. We played tennis together, we went out together, we rehearsed together. We got to bond and feel good with each other."

Intimacy coordinators are a relatively new development on film sets, with respected actors such as Emma Thompson praising the addition. Kate Winslet has even said that she would have loved to have intimacy coordinators present on set when she was starting her career.

As for Challengers, it's the latest film from director Luca Guadagnino, who is known for Call Me By Your Name and Bones and All, both starring Z's friend and Dune costar Timothée Chalamet.

The promo tour has taken the cast and crew from Sydney to Paris to Rome, with Zendaya continually "serving" stunning tennis-based outfits.

In Rome, the star paired a tenniswear-inspired lamé dress with high heels adorned with tennis balls:

American actress, singer and dancer Zendaya (Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman) participates in the photocall of the film Challengers at the Hotel Hassler. Rome (Italy), April 08th, 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Throughout the press tour, Zendaya has stuck to a green-theme, presumably recalling the colour of tennis balls and courts. In Paris, she opted for a stunning mini coat-dress in green and white checks:

Zendaya attends the "Challengers" Paris Photocall at Maison De L'Amerique Latine on April 06, 2024 in Paris, France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And in Sydney, she opted for a sparkly green gown featuring a person playing tennis on it:

Zendaya attends the Australian premiere of "Challengers" at the State Theatre on March 26, 2024 in Sydney, Australia

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya is not only a fashion queen (aided on that mission by her legendary stylist Law Roach), but she's also the queen of dressing on theme for whatever film she's promoting — as evidenced by her collection of spider-inspired outfits for Spider-Man and her spacey outfits for Dune. What can't she do?!

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for Cosmopolitan.com in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.