Zendaya Loves How ‘Charismatic’ Tom Holland Is—Here’s How He Compares to Her Exes

Zendaya Loves How ‘Charismatic’ Tom Holland Is—Here’s How He Compares to Her Exes

Though the Euphoria star has had dozens of on-screen love interests throughout her career, there are far fewer guys who have managed to snag the title of Zendaya’s boyfriend in real life.

Zendaya, for her part, has always been notoriously private about her dating life. While the Malcolm & Marie actress has been linked to everyone from co-stars to athletes, it’s very rare that fans hear about her love life directly from her. In her October 2021 British Vogue cover story, Zendaya played coy when asked about her current relationship status and joked about the hurdles any would-be suitor would have to jump over in order to date her. The Dune star noted that there’s a long list of family members who insert themselves into her dating life—”my dad, my brothers, it’s a whole thing,” she explained, adding. “Good luck to whoever wants to take that on.” (I mean, we can surely think of many who would love the opportunity).

The multi-hyphenate star also opened up about refusing to have her first kiss on camera when she starred as Rocky on Shake It Up on the Disney Channel. “I remember being on Shake It Up and being like, ‘I’m not gonna do this,” she told British Vogue. “I’m going to kiss him on the cheek because I haven’t been kissed yet so I don’t want the kiss to be on camera.” TBH, she had every right to wait on her first kiss when she felt ready for it—and obviously, there have been plenty of lucky dates who have had the chance to lock lips with her since.

For everything we know about who Zendaya’s boyfriend is in 2021—along with every other guy she’s reportedly dated throughout the years—just keep on reading below.

Trevor Jackson (2012 – 2016)

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Image: Tony Forte/MediaPunch/IPX.

Zendaya and Trevor first sparked dating rumors in 2013 after the Disney Channel alum appeared in a music video for his “Like We Grown” music video. In the clip, Zendaya portrayed his love interest—and the scene clearly left fans speculating that there was something more going on behind the scenes.

The pair addressed the rumors in 2014, with Zendaya telling HipHollywood, “There’s going to be those [rumors] but he’s my best friend in the whole world. I love him to death. That’s all it is.” Trevor, for his part, also denied the dating rumors at the time: “We be laughing every time we hear it. I can understand why people think that because we are really close,” he told the site. “But, no she’s just my friend.”

Years later, however, Zendaya opened up about a secret relationship she had from 2012 to 2016 in an interview with Vogue. While she didn’t name any names for her “first love,” the timeline with Trevor certainly adds up.

Odell Beckham Jr. (2016)

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Image: JC Olivera/Sipa USA via AP Images.

Zendaya was briefly linked to NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. after they were spotted leaving a party together in 2016. Her dad, however, denied any rumors of a relationship between his daughter and the football star. “There’s no relationship. We’re just friends. When you see my daughter out on a date without me, it’s a relationship,” he told TMZ at the time, joking that Zendaya’s outing with Beckham Jr. was just “like an audition” for him to witness.

Jacob Elordi (2019 – 2020)

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Image: Art Garcia/Sipa USA via AP Images.

Zendaya and Jacob Elordi met on the set of HBO’s Euphoria in 2018. The pair were first romantically linked months after the series premiere in August 2019 when they were spotted vacationing in Greece together. According to a source who spoke to Us Weekly at the time, “They looked like they were getting a little cozy.”

The Kissing Booth star, for his part, downplayed his relationship with Zendaya in an interview with GQ later that year, telling the magazine that his HBO co-star was like his “sister.” But by February 2020, the pair were spotted kissing and looking absolutely giddy together in New York City. Their romance appeared to fizzle out sometime after, as Elordi was soon linked to his current girlfriend, model Kaia Gerber.

Tom Holland (2017, 2021 – Present)

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Image: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

Zendaya and Tom Holland have sparked romance rumors ever since they met on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2016. Speculation reached its peak in 2017 during the pair’s promotional tour for the film, with many assuming that the duo were secretly an item. Zendaya shut down the rumors at the time, telling Variety, “We are friends. He’s a great dude. He’s literally one of my best friends. This past how[ever] many months, we’ve had to do press tours together. There’s very few people that will understand what that’s like at 20 years old.”

While rumors quieted for a few years, the Spider-Man co-star reignited talks of romance in July 2021. The pair were photographed sharing a passionate kiss in Holland’s car. The photos—which you can see here—pretty much broke the internet. A source who spoke to People at the time confirmed the relationship, revealing, “They started seeing each other while they were filming Spider-Man. They’ve been super careful to keep it private and out of the public eye but they’ve gone on vacations with each other and try and spend as much time as possible with one another.”

The insider continued, “They’re both really ambitious and they challenge each other—but, most importantly, they make each other crack up. They seem to have a really similar sense of humor and love joking around together. They have great banter back and forth.”

While Tom and Zendaya have continued to play coy about their relationship, the actress spoke about what she appreciates most about her rumored beau in her November 2021 InStyle interview. “There are many things, obviously, that I appreciate,” she told the magazine. “In an actor way, I appreciate that he really loves being Spider-Man. It’s a lot of pressure—you take on the role of a superhero wherever you go. To the little kid who walks by, you are Spider-Man. I think he handled that so well. And seeing him at work, even though he’s not a Virgo, he is a perfectionist.”

In an interview with GQ in 2021, Tom revealed what Zendaya taught him about fame. “Having her in my life was so instrumental to my sanity,” he said. “She is so good at being the role model for young guys and girls. When anyone comes up, like, ‘Can I have a picture?,’ it’s never a bad time. Whereas my initial reaction was: ‘Why are you talking to me? Leave me alone.’” Tom also discussed the 2021 photo of him and Zendaya kissing, which he saw as an invasion of his “privacy.” “One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world,” he said. “I’ve always been really adamant to keep my private life private, because I share so much of my life with the world anyway,” he says. “We sort of felt robbed of our privacy.”

Zendaya added, “It was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive. The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own.… I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other.”

When asked how he and Zendaya started dating, Tom told GQ, “I don’t think it’s about not being ready. It’s just that we didn’t want to. It’s not a conversation that I can have without her. You know, I respect her too much to say… This isn’t my story. It’s our story. And we’ll talk about what it is when we’re ready to talk about it together.”

As for what Zendaya thinks of Tom, the former Disney Channel star gushed to GQ about her co-star. “He’s a fun time,” she said. “Very charismatic, can make anybody feel comfortable and have a good laugh and a good chat. A good chat—I sound so British.”

Euphoria is available to stream on HBO Max. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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