Zendaya Coleman quit the new Aaliyah TV biopic over fears it was too “rushed”. The Disney star had been lined up to play the tragic singer in Aaliyah: Princess of R&B for America’s Lifetime network, but a representative for the 17 year old confirmed on Sunday (29Jun14) that the actress had decided to leave the TV movie.
Coleman has now detailed the reasons behind her departure, explaining that she didn’t want to race to complete the production when the subject matter was so important to her.
She tells MTV.com, “I just felt the project wasn’t 100 per cent there. I feel (that) production wise everything just felt a little rushed. “And I think because she’s someone I admire and I 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, but 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.”
Officials at Lifetime have now confirmed work on the production has been halted. A post on the broadcaster’s official Twitter.com page reads, “We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.”
Coleman’s departure comes amid reports Aaliyah’s family had not green lit the project. Fans also questioned Coleman’s casting in the role of the singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001, aged 22.