Zendaya reveals she had to 'protect' herself as a child star

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Los Angeles, February 4 (IANS) Actress Zendaya has said that she had to learn to "protect" herself as a child star. The 27-year-old actress shot to fame in her early teens when she was cast alongside Bella Thorne in the Disney Channel sitcom 'Shake It Up'.

She progressed with a glamorous Hollywood career in later years but admitted that she sometimes wishes she could have stayed as a normal kid for a "bit longer" as she recalled feeling very "vulnerable" at a young age, reports ‘Female First UK’.

Speaking on YouTube series PayOrWait, she said: "It's a lesson you have to learn young. I was a kid thrown into a very adult industry where if you do have a perspective or something to say, it's like 'Well they're a kid'. And the parents...it's like...they are just the parents so you have to learn how to protect yourself quite quickly.”

“For me, it was a lesson learned quite early - back in my Disney days - of little tricks and little things I could do to protect myself, or protect my peace or protect my happiness. I think when you're a kid in this industry, you're very vulnerable. I do wish I could have just been a kid for a little bit longer but yeah, the lessons happened very early. I don't know if there was a specific moment but it definitely happened quite young, having to learn to have my own back a little bit.”

However, the actress recalled having an on-set teacher during her time on Disney Channel who she felt prioritised the child's well-being above all else and claimed it may come as a "surprise" to learn that someone like that is fairly uncommon in the industry.

She said: "I had a wonderful on-set teacher who was very adamant about safety, breaks, time and so...she's like an aunt to me now. Shoutout to Monique. She became my family, but she was someone who just advocated for the kid, she'd say 'They need to take a break', or 'That's too dangerous, I don't want them doing that', or 'They have school!'. You'd be surprised how that is not common practice in this industry.”