June 18, 2014 1:18pm PT by Ian Servantes
Zendaya Coleman on Portraying Aaliyah: 'I Can't Please Everybody' (Video)
"If you want something done right, you have to get it done yourself." — that was the mindset of 17-year-old Zendaya Coleman as she auditioned for the role of Aaliyah in the upcoming Lifetime biopic.
Now that she's nabbed the lead, the goal is perfection.
"I can't please everybody, can’t make everyone happy," she told the Associated Press, "but what I can do is work really hard and just continue to show her legacy. That’s all I’m focused on is really, really portraying her in the best light possible. That’s all it’s about."
One group who will be especially hard to please is the late singer's family. Aaliyah's uncle and former manager, Barry Hankerson, told TMZ the family thinks a Lifetime movie is too small of a release. He also said the family will do everything possible to halt the release of the film and will block any attempt to use her music.
Coleman seems to be taking the criticism well, though, as indicated by her tweet Monday night: "I’m just a 17 year old girl who got to play one of her biggest inspirations #positive."
Aaliyah's official Twitter account also shared a series of optimistic tweets, while acknowledging the family’s reservations:
Fans we hear your comments and concerns !! unfortunately we cannot confirm the family is behind the project at this time— Aaliyah (@AaliyahHaughton) June 17, 2014
However ,we do ask that you are respectful to the artist playing the role, for they may not fully have or know the details about this role— Aaliyah (@AaliyahHaughton) June 17, 2014
And her family's involvement #teamaaliyah— Aaliyah (@AaliyahHaughton) June 17, 2014
2013 was a huge year for the former star of Disney Channel's Shake It Up!, as Coleman was the youngest contestant to appear on Dancing With the Stars and finished as the runner-up. Her debut album, released in September, featured the platinum single "Replay."
Watch the video interview below.