Zendaya and Tom Holland are one of the hottest young couples in Hollywood. After being casted together in Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2016, fans were hoping that the two were more than just co-stars due to their on-screen chemistry and after years of speculation, fans got their wish.
It’s been said that the best relationships start off as friendships and it looks like that’s the case with Zendaya and Tom. They both met while filming Spider-Man and in an 2017 interview with People, the English actor referred to Zendaya as his best friend.
“We are like the best of friends. She’s so great and amazing,” Tom said. “I’m a little worried [about dealing with fame … but] Zendaya is super famous and she’s been through this, and I just call her up and say, ‘How do I manage being famous?’ I’m very glad I have a friend like her.”
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However, it seems that they have been in an on-and-off relationship as they have been linked to other people since initially sparking romance rumors in 2017.
The Disney alum reportedly dated her Euphoria co-star Jacob Elordi in 2020 and Tom was rumored to have a romance with family friend Olivia Bolton in 2019. But like any on-and-off relationship, they found their way back to each other.
Here’s a timeline of Zendaya and Tom’s relationship:
The 25-year-old actress made her first appearance on her now beau’s Instagram back in July 2016. While it appeared like an innocent pool day with friends, this could also be looked at as the beginning of their romance.
While Tom said that he and Zendaya were just friends in the People July interview, another source claimed that they were more than that. The source said that they began dating while 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,” claimed the source. “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.”
However, both of the actors denied the claims on Twitter. “Wait wait...my favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA! I haven’t been on a vacation in years! hbu @TomHolland1996???,” Zendaya tweeted. Tom retweeted her and wrote. “Does the press tour count?”
The rumors didn’t stop there. In December of the same year, Tom had an outing with Zendaya and her parents. Page Six reported that the actress’ parents seemed to be “charmed” by the Englishman.
Both Zendaya and Tom were pretty lowkey this year, sans a couple of Instagram posts Tom shared of the Dune actress. In May, he praised his “mate” for her MET Gala look. “All hail the queen. Killing it mate 🙌🏻,” he wrote.
Later on in September, he wished the Euphoria star a happy birthday. “Me, myself and the birthday girl. Happy birthday mate - keep killing it and paving the way for the rest of us ♥️,” he shared on Instagram.
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In 2019, the Spider-Man co-stars were reportedly dating other people. Zendaya sparked dating rumors after she was spotted vacationing with her Euphoria co-star Jacob in August 2019. Tom was also seeing Olivia.
Paparazzi caught Zendaya and Jacob kissing in New York City in February, but they never confirmed that they were a couple. Tom, however, broke up with Olivia, but seemingly confirmed that he was back off the market after he shared a photo of Nadia Parkes on Instagram.
Zendaya playfully shading Tom in a since-deleted tweet back in July.
In July 2021, paparazzi photos of Zendaya and Tom kissing appeared online, which sent Twitter in a tailspin.
A month later, the pair were spotted attending a wedding together in Esteban Camarillo's IG Story, a fellow guest at the wedding. In regards to romance rumors, Tom and Zendaya kept it cute and still on mute.
However, a source toldUS Weekly, “They’re both not one to make their relationship public. They’re private when it comes to dating so any photos that have come out would’ve just been them going about their business and not knowing photographers were around.”
In September 2021, not one to shy away from shouting out Zendaya when she's slaying, Tom shared a photo of him and the beauty on his Instagram. "My MJ," it read, "have the happiest of birthdays. Gimme a call when your up xxx."
A month later in October, while on a promo tour for the box office smash Dune, Zendaya took a BFF test with co-star and best friend, actor Timothée Chalamet. One of the questions the BuzzFeed series asked was about their biggest celebrity crushes.
Timothée cheekily responds for Zendaya by saying, "Easy. Tom Holland." To which Zendaya laughs knowingly before answering the same question for her co-star. The adorable moment starts at 1:01.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
It wasn’t until December 5, however, that they made their first red carpet appearance as a couple. They were all smiles as they attended a photocall in London for their film Spider-Man: No Way Home.
After news broke of their relationship, the actors openly gushed about each other during interviews. Speaking with GQ in November, both Zendaya and Tom spoke highly of each other.
“Having her in my life was so instrumental to my sanity,” Tom 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.’”
Zendaya shared, “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.”
Featured image by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage via Getty Images
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While this podcasting duo has had a long-standing friendship over the years, they officially joined forces back in 2020 while co-hosting their popular Netflix podcast, Okay, Now Listen.
The show garnered rave reviews and a devoted community throughout the pandemic, however, in July 2022, the podcast ended. But as timing would have it, these media besties are not launching their latest series, The Scottie & Sylvia Show, with Issa Rae's “audio everywhere” platform, Raedio.
And yes, it’s bigger and better than before.
With so much shifting in our day-to-day lives and so many pop culture moments unfolding right before our screens, Scottie and Sylvia are the perfect pair to provide a refreshing take on today's ever-growing society. Each week, the two will tackle topics such as colorism, imposter syndrome, romance, and vulnerability, featuring celebrity guests and engaging gamified segments that invite listeners into their inspiring friendship.
The podcast partnership came together as organic as Scottie and Sylvia’s bond, only, their missing link was multi-hyphenate media mogul, Issa Rae. As the co-hosts were wrapping up their Netflix podcast, Sylvia — who has a background in journalism — had the opportunity to profile Issa Rae for her Today.com cover story. After the interview, Rae inquired about how things were going with the podcast when Sylvia shared the news of its ending.
“I knew that a lot was about to change on the landscape again, and I was like, ‘Where can we go and be safe?'" Sylvia says. “I didn’t want to be under the whim of white billionaires anymore. And that’s why Issa was the perfect fit for that.
”What she didn’t know at the time was that Rae was interested in picking up their show under her media company, and after a few discussions, their partnership was born.
"Scottie and Sylvia are so raw and relatable, and I'm such a fan of their effortless, hilarious chemistry," said Issa Rae, CEO of HOORAE. "I'm so grateful they chose Raedio as their podcast home."
xoNecole: Since the moment you all announced the completion of your podcast with Netflix, you all were very adamant about saying, “This is not goodbye…” Can you all touch on how the power of speaking things into existence played a role in your careers thus far?
Scottie Beam: Listen, sometimes that's all you have: speaking things into existence; because that's what you have to work off of. Your words mean things, and there is power of the tongue. I truly believe in saying things, manifesting things, and then going after them. So when we said we were going to come back, we definitely did, and we made sure it was bigger and better.
Sylvia Obell: I'm a believer. So I've always believed that God had a purpose for my life and that the prayers of ‘the righteous availeth much.’ If I asked for things and they coordinate with God's will, then they will come to pass. What's interesting about this portion of my life is that this wasn't my initial plan or dream; I think it's something that happened to me, which makes it feel more purpose-driven and [like] where I was supposed to be, rather than something I pushed myself into.
The part we manifested, or at least believed in, was that if Netflix wasn't the place for us, we would find the right place.
xoN: Let’s take things back a little, many of us were first introduced to Scottie through Hot 97 and on to 'Black Girl Podcast.' What initially drew you to podcasting in the beginning, and did you ever see it becoming what it’s become today?
SB: My love for radio. I love radio, I've been in radio before I started podcasting, and with Black Girl Podcast, we figured out that other Black women were talking and that Black women need to be talking to each other. We decided to sit in front of those mics, talk, and see where it goes. That podcast was us talking about experiences, sharing each other's feelings, and being able to relate on so many different levels.
A lot of us feel alone most of the time because we don't have the spaces. But now we get to dominate these spaces and are trying to dominate these spaces, and Black Girl Podcast really did its thing. It's incredible what we were able to do during that time.
xoN: Sylvia, you come from a journalism background, and you’ve always said that you create with Black women in mind first. Why is it important to have and see more Black women represented within the podcasting space?
SO: We deserve to hear our stories and see ourselves in one another and not feel alone and not feel like our experiences are just siloed. Finding community and realizing that there are people who know how you feel, what you're going through, and here's how they got out.
Also, just feeling seen — it’s like the feeling of coconut oil being poured on your soul. Knowing you’re not alone, especially after the pandemic, and because we launched our first podcast during the pandemic, so much of what it was based on was us helping people not feel alone, feel like they're with their friends, and feel like they're a part of our friendship And like that matters.
That's why it's important that we all contribute to that as much as we can, not just me and Scottie, but as many Black women who are able to step up to the table because our experiences are also not a monolith. There's diversity within that diversity. It’s important to get as much representation as possible out there in the podcasting space and in all spaces.
"Sometimes that's all you have: speaking things into existence; because that's what you have to work off of. Your words mean things, and there is power of the tongue."
xoN: The first episode of your podcast was a really touching moment of reflection on the past year you both have shared “navigating unknown territory.” What was the biggest lesson you all learned from that time?
SB: Being still is a skill. It's an art that I have not mastered yet, but I had to do [so] in order to find some calm within the chaos. And the chaos, meaning my mind, overthinking everything, trying to reach for perfection, and never seeming to actually get it not. But what I had to do was listen to God and be still.
SO: Knowing who you are outside of your job and your work. Cultivating that part of you, the evolution and growth of you as a personal human being, especially when you have a platform. It's so important that you do the inside work to be somebody who can be responsible on that mic, who can share fruitful thoughts and not just petty ones or shady ones or quips or things that will go viral because they're wreaking havoc. I don't want to wreak havoc, I want to wreak joy.
I want insight, knowledge, and growth. Yes, we're going to laugh, have fun, and be light, but I want to go viral over, like saving somebody from pain or a mistake.
xoN: I truly believe that you all are the bounce-back queens. What do you think is the secret to bouncing back after life’s darkest seasons?
SB: It's definitely all about learning from the failure instead of just attacking yourself because you failed. And that is the hardest thing that I have to learn, and I’m still learning to do. Also, knowing that you're gonna bounce again, and bounce again, and bounce again. Because life is going to "life" and it’s going to continue to "life" for the rest of your life. So you just have to master the art of living.
SO: Just knowing that that's all life is: bounce back after bounce back. It's not some type of cruel personal thing that's happening to you, that's just the gig of life, and it's just going to keep happening until it's over. So to wish for it to stop happening is to wish for life to stop changing — and this is coming from somebody who hates change. I had to [learn] how to do what did Toni Morrison said, "If you surrender to the air, you could ride it."
"It's definitely all about learning from the failure instead of just attacking yourself because you failed. Because life is going to 'life' and it’s going to continue to 'life' for the rest of your life. So you just have to master the art of living."
xoN: Issa Rae is a role model for so many of us Black women today. In working with her, what is one lesson or trait that you all have been able to glean from her?
SB: I learned from Issa Rae how to stand in your talent, stand in your power, and believe in the power that you have. Make sure that you work for it, and it works for you. Make sure that whatever power, talent, and blessing that you have, you lean into it. I am 100% behind that. The humble approach is nice, but sometimes you do have to realize that you are really that girl, so lean into it.
SO: Networking across, not up. From the Awkward Black Girl web series to Insecure, they didn’t have these big stars… they didn't lean on ‘hey, look at me, look at my show,' or beg [them] to be a part of this. There’s power in how many people are to my left and my right; there’s talent, and together we have this power to make this really cool thing that will get that attention naturally.
We just need a platform, and together, we can really take off and continue to extend. That's why Raedio just feels like a perfect fit because they're already about looking in versus outwards to create art. And I think that that's such a beautiful lesson Issa has shown us all.
xoN: For fans that have followed you since the start of your career to the new ones that will be introduced to this new platform, what can listeners of 'The Scottie and Sylvia Show' expect from you all in the new chapter of your podcasting era?
SO: We're going to be able to talk about more, be more, and do more, all while still keeping that friendship base and all the things that people love from us.
SB: With this new chapter of podcasting, there's also a new chapter of life that we've lived, so we'll be able to share a lot on that, our experiences. I'm so excited to be able to just talk to y'all again, relate to y'all again, and joke with y'all again. We have games, new segments, guests — we have it all, honey! It's just better because we're on Raedio now; so that's gonna be amazing.
Featured image courtesy of Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell