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It’s no secret that Disney star Zendaya Coleman has been met with a lot criticism after being cast as Aaliyah in the late icon’s upcoming Lifetime biopic.

Not only are people upset about the family not having much say in how the movie ordeal is playing out, fans of the “One in a Million” songstress – who died in 2001 after a tragic plane crash – have been quite vocal about Zendaya not being “black enough,” and not experienced enough to pull off such a sophisticated role.

She’s already put the “not black enough” haters to rest, but more recently, Zendaya also talked about her passion for Aaliyah, getting the role fair and square, and more, while chit-chatting with Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush and guest co-host Meghan McCain. 

Check out a few excerpts below, plus the entire video up above. Zendaya also dishes on her personal style, her upcoming Disney movie Zapped, and more.

On The Fact That Aaliyah’s Family Is Unhappy About The Biopic:

“We haven’t started production or anything.  But the family was my number one concern.  My important thing about this was the mother & the brother… and that Lifetime reached out.  I didn’t feel comfortable until they did.  So they’re working on that and reaching out to the family to make sure everything’s ok.  I wrote a letter, a whole bunch of things. I’ve been an Aaliyah fan my entire life.  I auditioned like anyone else and I got cast in the part.  I want it to be something [the family] is proud of and what she would be proud of.  It’s a Lifetime movie.  So it’s just to honor her. And to show how incredible she is and the things she was able to do.”

On People Criticizing Her:

“I think people are entitled to their own opinions.  Some people know me from the Disney channel and maybe they don’t think I can handle the role or do whatever.  But at the same time, I was cast in the part.  I auditioned like everyone else and I was cast.  My passion and my love for Aaliyah is so strong.  I’m just going to channel her and do my best to honor someone that I love so much and have and taken so much from in my career.”

On Her Personal Style:

“I’m very urban chic. I like to take urban inspired streetwear and put a girly twist to it.  Being 17, I shouldn’t be confined to a box.  This is the time for me to experiment with fashion and try different styles.  So I might as well do it.”

What’s your position on the biopic? Leave your thoughts below.


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