Zendaya Coleman addresses her departure from Aaliyah biopic

"She's someone I admire and love so much," the actress says. "It can't be done halfway."
By Annie Martin  |  June 30, 2014 at 5:39 PM
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LOS ANGELES, June 30 (UPI) -- Zendaya Coleman has explained why she left a new movie about Aaliyah.

The 17-year-old actress was slated to portray the late singer in an upcoming Lifetime biopic. The network announced her departure on Sunday, and Coleman addressed the topic at the BET Awards later that evening.

"I just felt the project wasn't 100 percent there. I feel [that] production-wise everything just felt a little rushed," she told MTV News. "I think because she's someone I admire and love so much, it can't be done halfway, or not to the standards I think it should be done at, so I just decided not to do it."

"By all means, when the right project comes along and it's done the right way I'll be the first person ready to play Aaliyah," she shared. "This wasn't the right one for me. I've been into Aaliyah since I was little, so there wasn't too much getting into character. I always pretend I'm her anyway."

Aaliyah died in a plane crash at age 22 in 2001. The singer's family is reportedly opposed to the Lifetime movie, and envisions the biopic as a big screen film.

"We want a major studio release along the lines of What's Love Got to Do with It, the Tina Turner movie," cousin Jomo Hankerson told the New York Daily News. "This needs A-list actors, A-list talent that can breathe life into what we think is a phenomenal story."

Topics: Tina Turner
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