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‘Aaliyah:’ Did Zendaya & Alexandra Shipp Chat After Casting Shakeup?

Sun, November 16, 2014 10:00am EDT by 6 Comments

When Zendaya dropped out of the ‘Aaliyah’ biopic and star Alexandra Shipp took her place, many wondered what really went down. Alexandra told EXCLUSIVELY what it was like to come face-to-face with Zendaya after the drama.

Alexandra Shipp, 23, landed the role of Aaliyah for the Lifetime biopic after Zendaya, 18, was cast. The former Disney star dropped out of Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, and Alexandra stepped up to take her place. Alexandra revealed to EXCLUSIVELY how fans reacted to the casting shakeup and whether there were any hard feelings with Zendaya after the switch up.

‘Aaliyah’ Movie: Did Alexandra Shipp & Zendaya Have Drama Over Role?

Alexandra fully admits that Zendaya’s fans were committed to the 18-year-old playing the late R&B singer, so when Alexandra replaced her, fans were absolutely shocked.

‘Aaliyah: The Princess Of R&B’: Fans Mock Biopic In Funny Memes

“With her fans being so passionate about everything that was going on, I think it was really scary,” Alexandra told “I understand controversy, I understand where the fans were coming from, but at the same time, this project spoke to me.”

So, was it totally awkward between the two actresses when they finally met, or totally cool? 

“We ran into each other at the Teen Vogue party,” Alexandra continued. “I understand why she backed out. I understand why she did it, but it was just, ‘Hey girl, congratulations.’ The fact that there is a young, female, black lead anything is fantastic. It’s not every day that we get to carry a movie.”

Zendaya Reveals Why She Dropped Out Of ‘Aaliyah’ Biopic

Zendaya told EXCLUSIVELY why she decided to drop out of the film at the BET Awards on June 29.

“Basically, I just felt that because I love her, and because I respect her so much as an artist, I don’t want to do anything that’s half or anything that’s less for her,” she said.

Well, we’re glad that the relationship between Zendaya and Alexandra isn’t strained whatsoever as a result of the role!

HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Aaliyah: The Princess of R & B? Did you want Zendaya to play Aaliyah? Let us know!

— Avery Thompson, Reporting by Elizabeth Wagmeister

More ‘Aaliyah’ News:

  1. ‘Aaliyah’: Controversial R. Kelly Romance Will Be Revealed In Biopic
  2. ‘Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B’ — Does Biopic Do The Singer’s Life Justice?
  3. ‘Aaliyah: The Princess Of R&B’: First Trailer For Lifetime Biopic Revealed