In Depth

Zendaya: Five things you didn't know about Spider-Man's Mary Jane Watson

From her giant schnauzer to her memoirs, all the information about the Disney star reportedly playing Peter Parker's love interest

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It was announced in March that US actress Zendaya would have a major role in Marvel's upcoming Spider-Man reboot. Now sources have told The Wrap she will play Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker's love interest.

So-called "race-bending" in movie adaptations has upset comics fans in the past but "Twitter definitely likes the idea" of Zendaya, says USA Today.

Here are five things you didn't know about the 19-year-old Disney Channel star:

Her full name is…Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman was born in Oakland, California, to an African-American father and a white mother in 1996. She started her career as a child model for US department store Macy's and is best known as Rocky Blue in the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up. She was also one of the leads in the Disney movie Frenemies.

She was Dancing with the Stars's youngest contestant Her record on the US version of Strictly Come Dancing has since been beaten, however, by Willow Shields, who was 14 when she appeared in series 20 of the talent competition. Zendaya finished as a runner-up with partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy in series 16 – when she was 16.

She had a giant schnauzer called Midnight. When her beloved pet died in October 2015, Zendaya tweeted a grieving letter in which she called him "one of the most loyal men in my life" and thanked him for "loving me unconditionally".

She doesn't like Photoshop. Modeliste magazine apologised after Zendaya tweeted original and manipulated images of herself that had significantly reducing her hips. She wrote: "These are the things that make women self-conscious that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have." The story made good publicity for both Zendaya and the magazine when Modeliste's editor pulled the distorted images in favour of using the originals.

She published her memoirs at the age of 16. A performer since she was eight years old, Zendaya distilled her wisdom into Between U and Me: How to Rock Your Tween Years with Style and Confidence. The book currently has five stars on Amazon.

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