Did Zendaya Just Make History Again?
According to Puck NewsThe 26-year-old ‘Euphoria’ star has negotiated a new deal with HBO that will make her one of the highest-paid television actors in Hollywood, and perhaps the youngest to win such a deal.
The 26-year-old Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actor will now rake in nearly $1 million per episode for her deeply moving portrayal of the series’ lead character, Rue Bennett, a haunted high school student struggling with substance abuse in the aftermath of death. from her father.
“Euphoria” is one of the busiest shows of recent years. Some love it, some hate it, but almost everyone agrees that Zendaya gives a performance worth celebrating. The gritty high school drama rocketed its cast to stardom, and while Zendaya (a Disney Channel alum) was no stranger to the spotlight, it was “Euphoria” that dropped the veil on her reach and dramatic acting chops.
In 2020, Zendaya made Emmy Awards history when she became the youngest actor to take home the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama at age 24. And in 2022, she made history again when she became the only black woman to win two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama.
“My biggest wish for Euphoria was that it could help people heal,” Zendaya said as she accepted her second Emmys trophy in 2022. “I want to thank everyone who has shared their story with me. I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know I am so thankful for your stories, and I carry them with me, and I carry them with her.
Along with the lead actress win, Zendaya was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series as a producer of ‘Euphoria’, though ‘Succession’ took the award. Had she won, she would have been the youngest executive producer to do so.
At $1 million per episode, Zendaya will sit pretty well compared to her “Euphoria” co-star Sydney Sweeney, who spoke to the Hollywood Reporter last year about the financial woes of acting. “If I wanted to take a six-month break, I have no income to cover it,” she said. “I have no one to support me, I have no one to turn to to pay my bills or call for help.
“They don’t pay actors like they used to, and you don’t get any residuals with streamers,” Sweeney added. “The established stars still get paid, but I have to give 5 percent to my lawyer, 10 percent to my agents, 3 percent or something like that to my business manager. I have to pay my publicist every month, which is more than my mortgage.”
Zendaya now joins other $1 million milestone members, including the main cast of “Friends” in its final season, the main cast of “Game of Thrones”, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon for “Big Little Lies” and Elisabeth Moss on Apple’s “Shining Girls”, just to name a few.
According to a Deadline report in 2021, Angela Bassett set a record for highest-earning black female actor on network television, earning $450,000 per “9-1-1” episode. Kerry Washington made over a million per episode for co-starring and co-producing alongside Witherspoon in ‘Little Fires Everywhere’.
Zendaya hitting the $1 million mark may make her the youngest, highest-paid black female actor on television.
A Zendaya representative did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment on Monday.