Zendaya has a message for Malcolm and Marie critics: she’s grown!

In response to the discourse around the age gap between Zendaya and her Malcolm and Marie co-star John David Washington, Zendaya said that she gets why people forget she’s actually a 24-year-old woman.

“People often forget–which is understandable because I’ve been playing 16 since I was 16, you know–[but] I am grown,” she said to People Magazine. “I knew that, as I grow and as I evolve, there would be that moment where I could play someone my own age.”

As we reported recently, Washington also commented on the outrage surrounding the age gap, saying to Variety that viewers will see “how much of a woman she is.”

“I appreciated her wisdom and discernment when it comes to this business,” he said. “I admire that. What I’m really excited for people to see when the film is released–they’re going to see how mature she is in this role. We’re talking about versatility and [director Sam Levinson] and Zendaya brought both.”

Malcolm and Marie will start streaming on Netflix Feb. 5.