Zendaya says she got to be Spider-Man in 'The Greatest Showman' (exclusive)

Zendaya made her big screen debut in this year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, as Michelle (A.K.A. MJ), but it is in The Greatest Showman that she got to be her own Spider-Man.

The actress plays trapeze artist Anne Wheeler in the musical, inspired by the circus created by P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman), who falls in love with Zac Efron’s playwright Phillip Carlyle at a time when interracial relationships were a serious no-no.

In one stand out scene, the pair perform a duet called “Rewrite the Stars”, while gliding around the circus theatre on various ropes.

“I got to be my own version of Spider-Man in this,” the actress told Yahoo Movies UK. “I got to swing around and I definitely do not envy Tom [Holland], and his harness or Spandex, because I understand that now in a full way!”

Zendaya and Zac Efron in The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox)
Zendaya and Zac Efron in The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox)

Zac is definitely jealous of Holland – “that’s the coolest Spandex ever” – but said that the trapeze work in this new musical was a brand new experience despite his past turns in High School Musical and Hairspray.

“This was really different,” Zac tells us. “Part of the love and the singing was still there, [it] was something I could relate to but all the dancing and the trapeze in the air was totally new.

“We would kind of learn it on the day. We knew that I could hang from one arm and I could support her weight, and she could hang on to me and assist, but getting there was crazy every time.”

According to the stars it took four days to shoot the acrobatic scene, twice as long as it was scheduled, because the director and choreographer, Michael Gracey and Ashley Wallen, kept on coming up with new ideas.

Zac and Zendaya play star-crossed lovers in the musical (20th Century Fox)
Zac and Zendaya play star-crossed lovers in the musical (20th Century Fox)

“When we were going to do it or where the number would take us, we were only supposed to shoot it in two days and then we would find out another idea which would take us into another kind of epic moment, and every time we tried something we wanted to nail it,” Zac continued.

“So we were kind of perfectionists like that.”

For Zendaya, she learnt a brand new skill for the movie, admitting that she had never done gymnastics before.

“I’ve never in my life, I’ve never even done gymnastics, so the idea of a trapeze is foreign to me,” she explained, “but I’m so glad it was part of my job because I got to do something I’ve never done before, with some of the coolest people.

“I have this new skill, and I got to do it with him [Zac] and I think, again with our job, we always get lucky when we get things like this and [get to] push ourselves to the next level and see what we can do.”

The Greatest Showman is out in cinemas on December 26

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