Zendaya brought her own experiences as a Black woman living under pressure into her Challengers performance as tennis pro Tashi Donaldson.

Blavity/Shadow and Act’s managing editor, Trey Mangum, spoke with Zendaya and co-stars Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist about the film, which follows Tashi, a tennis star whose life-changing injury forces her out of the sport. She changes tactics and begins coaching her husband Art (Faist), but things turn even more when her husband’s nemesis on the court is also her ex-boyfriend Patrick (O’Connor).

Zendaya identified with Tashi’s sense of pressure, especially with both her and her character being Black women facing unparalleled scrutiny in the public eye. She talked about the burden of having to be twice as good in order to be considered on par with whiteness.

“I think that’s something that I’ve lived and constantly been aware of throughout my career,” she said. I think that plays into my fear of making mistakes or doing something wrong or stepping out of being perfect…so I think that’s something that I’ve personally carried and I think it would be the same for Tashi.”

“The reason why she’s so passionate about tennis because of her access to it and her proximity to it, because it’s her whole life. There’s no backup plan, there’s nothing to fall back on, and there’s a lot of pressure to make it or to be the one who does,” Zendaya continued. “I think that driven spirit comes from that and that’s why she puts so much of herself into the sport and that’s why it’s so devastating…for them [characters Art and Patrick], there’s a backup. There’s mom and dad, there’s a level of privilege to being able to be like, ‘Well, I don’t have to go to school, I can do this or I can do that.’ I think ultimately what she’s dealing with is the grief of her career but also this idea of perfection that she’s sculpted for her life, for her husband…the composure is falling apart.”

Watch the full interview above. Challengers comes to theaters Friday.