Zendaya Is Blown Away by ‘Challengers’ Costar Mike Faist’s Connection to ‘Past Lives’ | Video

“Challengers” star Zendaya marveled at the real-life in-yun connection her costar Mike Faist made to their upcoming film after initially auditioning for Celine Song’s “Past Lives.”

Before landing his “Challengers” role, Faist made a self-tape for “Past Lives” without knowing that Song and “Challengers” writer Justin Kuritzkes are partners. He didn’t land the role, but when prompted about the two films’ similarity of unconventional love triangles in an interview with Letterboxd, Faist told the story in depth with his costars present. In fact, Zendaya told him to “give it to the people.”

“Right before the pandemic, ‘Past Lives’ came across to me as something to read and possibly put myself on tape for. I hate reading scripts. This one I read, I was like, ‘Wow, this is an amazing script.’ I agreed to put myself on tape. Didn’t get it,” Faist recalled. “Pandemic happens. I’m alone. I’m by myself, it’s a random day, and I’m thinking about this woman who was about to make her directorial debut with this incredible script, and then the world shuts down.”

“I actually wrote to her agent just being like, ‘I don’t read things. This was amazing. I really feel for you. I hope you’re OK. I’m such a fan. And I just, I hope you’re getting the chance to actually make this movie because it’s incredible.’”

Later on production for the tennis film, Faist was getting to know Kuritzkes, who was texting Song, whom he married in 2016, and the “Challengers” writer mentioned that she had just finished cutting her first film — “Past Lives.”

“I was like, ‘No way. That’s incredible. What’s the movie?’ And he starts telling me the story and I’m like, ‘Hang on, hang on. I know this movie. Why do I know this movie?’” Faist shared. “I had to tell him the whole story. So it was this interesting thing of like paths [crossing]. Very meta, just like meant to kind of be and whatnot in some sort of capacity.”

“Past Lives” went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, while Song received her own Best Original Screenplay nod.

“Challengers” hits theaters April 26.

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