How Zendaya and John David Washington Pulled Off Filming an Entire Movie Amid the Pandemic

Zendaya, John David Washington and more secretly filmed Malcolm & Marie over the course of a few weeks, with numerous precautions being taken to prevent coronavirus

By Cydney Contreras Jul 09, 2020 1:14 AMTags
Watch: How Zendaya & John David Washington Filmed Amid the Pandemic

For Zendaya and John David Washington the hustle never stops, even amid a pandemic.

Deadline reports the actors took part in filming the upcoming movie Malcolm & Marie from June 17 to July 2. Because of the ongoing pandemic the cast and crew took numerous steps to ensure the safety of all parties involved, as required by the Writers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild.

According to Deadline, pre-production on the movie began on March 16, shortly after Euphoria writer and creator Sam Levinson received a call from Zendaya, who asked if he'd be able to write and direct a movie during the quarantine. 

Then, over the course of six short days, Levinson wrote the Malcolm & Marie script with Zendaya and John David Washington in mind. Deadline says the plot "has some echoes of Netflix's Marriage Story, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now," with COVID-19 being one of those themes. 

From there the project was funded by Levinson, his production partner and wife Ashley Levinson, producer Kevin Turen, Washington and Zendaya, as keeping it to a small, trusted group would help to guarantee the safety of the cast and crew. 

Zendaya's Best Looks

For the set, the team decided to film on location at the Feldman Architecture's Caterpillar House, a site that Deadline says was chosen for its ability to provide "privacy for the production and distance from anyone outside the quarantine group," while also being aesthetically suited to the mood of Levinson's script. 

But before filming could begin, both the cast and crew had to quarantine for two weeks, per the instructions of the unions and their doctors. "For two weeks, cast and crew wore masks, social distanced had their own separate dwellings with individual HVAC units, took hikes, rehearsed in the parking lot, and ate in designated spots food prepared by a chef who had been quarantined with the group," Deadline says of the preparation. "No one was allowed to leave the property."

The crew preparing the set followed similar protocols.

Equally strict measures were implemented throughout filming, with the stars acting as their own costume department, among other roles. 

Through detailed and impeccable planning, the cast and crew was able to make what is believed to be the first film to be made from beginning to end during the pandemic. 

Watch: Zendaya Talks Connection to "Euphoria" at 2020 Critics' Choice Awards

Zendaya seemingly confirmed the project on Wednesday afternoon, when she shared a photo of herself and Washington with the caption, "Malcolm & Marie." 

Kid Cudi, née Scott Mescudi, who is listed as an executive producer for the film, tweeted that he is "really excited about this." 

Kid Cudi isn't alone in his excitement. Social media is positively buzzing over the news of this project for a multitude of reasons. One tweet that has over 1,000 likes reads, "omw to give zendaya and john david washington their oscars for malcolm and marie even though we haven't even gotten a crumb of content from this movie."

Zendaya, Washington and Levinson declined to comment. 

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