We met actress Zendaya when she was at the ABC offices in Manhattan recently.
If you had to choose a different career, what would it be?
That's a tough question. I don't think I would ever want to choose a different career, but if I had to choose another thing to do on top of the career I'm doing, I would probably want to be a teacher of some sort. Because I really love young kids. I like kids my own age, but I think kids younger than me are really cool, kind of like you. And I just grew up in a classroom, because my mom and dad were both teachers. I really enjoy the teaching environment.
We read online that your mom was a house manager for the California Shakespeare Theater. Did that play a part in your career choice?
It did. Ever since I was little, I kind of grew up around Shakespeare, and that's how I first learned that I wanted to become an actress. I would watch them for hours and I would see how amazing these people were, and I was just like, "Wow, I want to do that. I want to be on the stage like that." I was an 8-year-old, and I was into Shakespeare. There are not even many 18-year-olds into Shakespeare -- even adults that aren't into Shakespeare.
If you had to choose an actor or actress you would like to work with, who would that be?
I would love to be some really cool, awesome lead actor/actress' daughter, like Denzel Washington or Johnny Depp's. I think that would be pretty cool.
What is the most exciting thing about "Dancing With the Stars"?
I think I was more nervous than excited. I think I was really, really nervous. I don't know if you guys have ever done a school play, or maybe even a soccer game or something, where it's down to the wire and everybody's looking at you. You feel like you can't mess up, so you get really worried. I was really stressed out every single week and plus, on top of that, you're being judged by judges and by the whole world at the same time. So it was really stressful, but I think in the end I got . . . to learn a lot about dancing and what it takes to work hard. So I learned a lot from it.
Where do you see your career going in the next five years?
Hopefully, I just want to continue to do what I love to do, inspire people along the way and maybe get a few Grammys in the process.
Do you ever get annoyed by the paparazzi?
No. I don't, because I don't get it too bad. I'm OK -- I can live my life. It's occasional, but I kind of like it. I like posing and stuff.
What made you want to act?
I always loved it. When I grew up around the theater, it was something that was always a big passion of mine. And the same with dancing and singing. I just loved it, and couldn't see myself doing anything else.
Have you ever felt crowded by boys?
I have been crowded by boys. Mostly, my friends when I was younger were boys, because I fit into the boys' group. I was a very big tomboy, so I shopped in the boys' section at Target. I was just a tomboy, and I didn't care, but I was also a girlie girl at the same time.