Zendaya, John David Washington cover W Magazine in retro photoshoot

The actress views the breathtaking photoshoot as 'almost like righting a wrong'

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Fresh off their Netflix film Malcolm & MarieZendaya and John David Washington are on the latest cover of W Magazine in an old-Hollywood inspired photoshoot.

Both Zendaya and John David Washington are some of the most in-demand talents in Hollywood today. Both with impressive careers on their own, the two came together this winter for Malcolm & Marie, a film shot entirely in quarantine that almost immediately got some awards buzz.

But what would A-listers Zendaya and Washington’s lives look like in “Old Hollywood”? That’s the premise behind their latest shoot for W Magazine. Inspired by the work of American photographer Slim Aarons, both Zendaya and John David Washington bring their “high-wattage energy to old-school glamour.”

John David Washingon and Zendaya combine forces for a ‘Malcolm and Marie’ for Netflix. (Photos: Getty)

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The piece and shoot, entitled Zendaya and John David Washington star in “Their Place in the Sun,” is a bit of a fashion fever dream, with both Washington and a now-blonde Zendaya serving looks in Gucci, PradaValentino, and more. 

With their palpable chemistry, the pictures portray Zendaya and John David Washington in a Hollywood fantasy, basking in the sun and lounging in the most luxurious of clothes. The location, looks, and style of the shoot were all incredibly intentional.

In the piece, Zendaya said, “That’s the mood I want…that life, but reimagined for now, with the look of then,” when describing the shoot. “Two Black actors in this setting seems like rewriting history in an elegant manner, like kind of an Old Hollywood that we wished existed in these photos. It’s almost like righting a wrong,” she explained.

Law Roach, who styled the shoot, agreed with Zendaya, saying, “Doing a Slim Aarons shoot, but with Black actors. The visuals matter. The way change happens is when people can see wealth and grandeur in a way that they are not used to seeing it.”

The piece details how integrated Zendaya was with the concept and execution of the photoshoot, even scouting the gorgeous white house used in the shoot.

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Some of the most striking images from the shoot are shots of Zendaya and Washington dancing with each other in the house. Zendaya in a stunning Miu Miu dress and Washington in a Dior men’s shirt, the photos highlight the pure chemistry the two have with each other.

According to the piece, that moment was actually an impromptu one. It reads, “When Zendaya changed into a pair of shorts and a matching lace top that resembled C.Z. Guest’s set in the Slim Aarons photo, Washington complimented her look. She playfully hit him on the arm, and they did a kind of impromptu dance.

Later, that dance was worked into a series of photos: Zendaya twirling in a sorbet-hued mini dress with a large pink bow, while Washington smiled.”

Read More: Zendaya on age gap with co-star John David Washington: ‘I’m grown’

Zendaya’s blonde look in the shoot was also an intentional statement. “Crucial to that concept was Zendaya’s insistence on being blonde,” the piece explains. “Much like her experiments during quarantine, this offered her a chance to create a new persona. Her teased bouffant was both a jab at the traditional stereotypes of white women and a way to instantly become a character.”

Washington was especially taken with the fashion and style of the shoot, calling it “Black royalty!”

Check out the full spread and read W Magazine‘s Zendaya and John David Washington star in “Their Place in the Sun, here.

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