Actress Zendaya Says ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Was Shot in Black and White Because ‘Black Actors Weren’t as Present’ in Those Films

Malcolm&Marie1
Netflix

Actress Zendaya says shooting her new film Malcolm & Marie in black and white was “about reclaiming the narrative of black and white Hollywood” and was a tribute to the Hollywood Era “when black actors weren’t as present” on the screen.

“Well, you know, other than the fact that it’s just pretty, it’s beautiful, it adds timelessness to it, but also — there was a thought also about reclaiming the narrative of black and white Hollywood, and Black actors really having their moment at that time,” Zendaya said in an interview with Good Morning America. “We weren’t as present in the black and white era. A lot of filmmakers have already done this before, a lot of black filmmakers, so it’s not necessarily a new idea, but we did want to pay tribute to that era, and reclaim that beauty and that elegance at that time with these two black actors.”

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On Thursday, Zendaya took to Twitter to express her anxiety prior to the film dropping on Netflix. “Full of excitement and nervousness as this lil movie we made in lockdown with people I love is coming out in the next hour,” the actress tweeted.

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“Nervousness for a few reasons. Normally I’m pretty self-critical and that leads me to be far too fearful to make things myself or trust myself enough to… even try.”

“This is really my first time believing that maybe I could,” said Zendaya in a follow-up tweet. “This is my first time being a leading lady, but also my first time being this creatively involved in something, producing something, co-financing something, owning something and sharing it all with my crew.”

“We made this as a family, shot it in 14 days with a 22 person crew I am eternally grateful for. For their talent, their time, their hard work, and their willingness to believe in this film,” she added.

“If there’s anything to learn from this year, and I hope from our little movie…” Zendaya continued, “it’s gratitude for every moment and every person we get to love. To stop and acknowledge the people in our lives who make it possible to do the work we do and honestly, make life worth living. It comes in many forms and sometimes it’s just a thank you.”

Malcolm & Marie will be streaming Friday on Netflix.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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