Belfast Telegraph

Zendaya defends her Aaliyah role

Disney star Zendaya has insisted she's the right choice to play Aaliyah in an upcoming TV movie.

The actress and singer has faced a backlash online after US channel Lifetime announced she would play the late RnB star, who was killed in 2001 aged 22 when her plane crashed after taking off from a Bahamian runway.

But the 17-year-old revealed she is confident she is the right person to play the Try Again singer because "if you want something done right, you've got to do it yourself".

Zendaya said doing the part justice is very important to her, although she accepts that she will not win over everybody.

She said: "I really want it to be perfect for her and show young people what she was able to do and what she accomplished."

The actress went on: "I can't please everybody... what I can do is work really hard and you know, just continue to show her legacy."

Zendaya, who made her debut on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up in 2010 and released her first album last year, will record some of Aaliyah's songs for the film.

She said her own success as a young star helps her relate to Aaliyah, who released her debut album at 15.

"I feel like she grew up so young and she grew up in the industry... and she just had to deal with so much," she said. "I connect with that."

The Aaliyah film is based on the book Aaliyah: More Than A Woman by music journalist Christopher Farley. It is due to start shooting later this year.

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