Zendaya and John David Washington recently addressed critics who have a problem with their 12-year age gap in their upcoming romantic Netflix movie, Malcolm & Marie.

The 24-year-old Zendaya (Marie) is romantically linked to the 36-year-old John David Washington (Malcolm) in the movie. Malcolm is a filmmaker and Marie is his girlfriend.

The movie is about the couple’s roller coaster ride of emotions, revelations, and romantic interactions after leaving Malcolm’s movie premiere, settling at home, and awaiting a critic’s review.

Watch the trailer below:

Zendaya believes that people are so use to seeing her play teenage roles that it’s hard for them to see her in a romantic grown woman role.

I guess I kind of understand it a little bit because I have been playing 16 since I was 16. You know, thankfully, ‘Black don’t crack,’ so I probably sometimes look a bit young, but I am a grown woman so this was special to me. Not only because it was written for me, but I think it was also written to me, and the woman I’m growing into. I think that was hugely what Marie kind of turned out to be while Sam was writing.

John David totally agrees that Zendaya is a grown woman and he believes this movie will show the world how grown she is.

I wasn’t concerned about it because she is a woman. People are going to see in this film how much of a woman she is.

The role of Marie was written specifically for Zendaya by her good friend and “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson. Zendaya and Sam have amazing chemistry together which is apparent from her 2019 Emmy win for best actress in a drama for her role as Rue in “Euphoria“.

Zendaya and John David both have production credits on the movie, and they helped finance it. They were also instrumental in the writing process.

It’s special when a character is written for us, you know? This is who he thought of as he was writing it and we were able to be a part of that process from the beginning, being able to talk with him for hours after — he’d write pages, we’d talk about it for however long — it really is a special experience unlike anything I’ve been a part of to that degree.

Yea I’m very, I’m grateful for the whole process. I couldn’t have asked for a better role to take that step.

The movie was filmed entirely during the Pandemic, and it will be released on Netflix on February 5th.

There is already Oscar buzz around the film for both Zendaya and John David.

Make sure you check out Malcolm & Marie next Friday on Netflix.

What are your thoughts on the age difference between Zendaya and John David?