‘Challengers’ Cast and Character Guide: Who’s Who in Zendaya’s Spicy Sports Movie? | Photos

Luca Guadigno’s latest film, “Challengers,” sits poised to kick off a sizzling run at the box office with a competitive love triangle at its center. Tashi Duncan (Zandaya) can play tennis like no other, and when doubles duo Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor) and Art Donaldson (Mike Faist) both take notice of her at a tournament, the trajectory of all three individuals changes forever.

Framed around a low-stakes “challenger” match in New Rochelle, which allows wild card players to qualify for the U.S. Open, the film sees Art, years later, a professional player on a losing streak along the high-pressure circuit. He confronts Patrick, his estranged best friend, and the Fire to his Ice in doubles. The pair face off in a match that recalls all the tension with Tashi from the college days at Stanford before Tashi hurt her knee.

Here are the cast and characters in “Challengers”:

Zendaya stars as Tashi in "Challengers" (MGM) Photo credit: Niko Tavernise
Zendaya stars as Tashi in “Challengers” (MGM)

Tashi Duncan (Zendaya)

Tashi Duncan is an ambitious tennis player with a scholarship to Stanford. She meets Art and Patrick at the U.S. Open when they both approach her after watching a mesmerizing match she wins on the court. Tashi enjoys manipulating people and energies.

Zendaya got her start in Disney shows like “Shake It Up” and “K.C. Under Cover” as well as films like “The Greatest Showman” (2017). She plays Michelle (“MJ”) in the Tom Holland “Spider-Man” trilogy, Marie in “Malcolm & Marie” as well as Chani in the “Dune” films.

Josh O'Connor in "Challengers" (MGM)
Josh O’Connor in “Challengers” (MGM)

Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor)

Pat is Fire in the doubles duo with Art. His passion matches Tashi’s and runs up against it at times. He chooses to go pro instead of going to college.

Josh O’Connor is known for playing Prince Charles in “The Crown,” Johnny Saxby in “God’s Own Country,” Mr. Elton in “Emma” (2020) and Jamie in “Hope Gap” (2019). He also has “La Chimera” out in theaters, in which he plays Arthur.

Mike Faist in "Challengers" (Prime Video)
Mike Faist in “Challengers” (Prime Video)

Art Donaldson (Mike Faist)

Art used to play in a doubles duo alongside his best friend Patrick Zweig. Together, they were known as Fire & Ice, with Art being Ice. As the trio ages, Art becomes the one to take the professional tennis track. He also went to Stanford with Tashi, where he played tennis.

Mike Faist is known for playing Riff in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” (2021), Arthur in “The Atlantic City Story” (2020) and Lawrence Fowler in “Wilding” (2018).

Darnell Appling, who plays the umpire in "Challengers" (MGM)
Darnell Appling, who plays the umpire in “Challengers” (MGM)

Umpire at the New Rochelle Challenger (Darnell Appling)

The umpire at the challenger match that frames the film keeps calm when both Art and Patrick lose their cool at times. He gives each of them point penalties while ensuring the match continues.

Darnell Appling is Zendaya’s longtime assistant, so he has worked on films like both “Dune” parts and the “Spider-Man” trilogy.

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