When audiences see the choreographed routines in The Greatest Showman, it'll look effortless. But as Zendaya said on The Tonight Show Monday, actually making the movie was anything but.
Zendaya plays acrobat Anne Wheeler in the movie, co-starring Rebecca Ferguson, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams. Zac Efron plays Anne's love interest, stage actor Phillip Carlyle.
Before production began, director Michael Gracey gave Zendaya advice. "He called and said, 'Listen, we're going to workshop this like a real Broadway production.' I was like, 'Cool! That's great,'" she said. "Then he's like, 'Also, you might want to start working out, because you have trapeze rehearsal when you get here, and I want to use the stunt doubles as little as possible.'"
Zendaya began building her upper body strength, which she admittedly has "not maintained" since filming ended. "It was a lot of training. It was a lot of literally getting up there and just going for it," she recalled. "I had been rehearsing on this specific rig that I was used to. I had become normal with that height difference, and there was a net. I felt good and comfortable, and I had been doing it for a while. I was like, 'OK, cool. I'm a trapeze artist! This is great!'"