Zendaya*Zendaya is having quite the 2014 and the year is only half over.

The actress is gearing up for widespread exposure with playing Aaliyah in Lifetime’s upcoming biopic on the late singer as well as starring in “Zapped,” the Disney Channel’s new movie.

As a lifelong Aaliyah fan, Zendaya made sure to take advantage of the chance to play the vocalist when the opportunity came up.

“I was like if they’re doing an Aaliyah movie, why wouldn’t I try to be a part of it?” she told Essence.com while revealing how similar Aaliyah’s life was to her’s. “She started so young. I started so young. People mispronounce her name. People mispronounce my name all the time,” Zendaya said. “Beyond that, I just feel like there are so many similarities between us.”

As loved as Aaliyah was, it’s not surprise that criticism has been thrown at Zendaya. Nevertheless, she isn’t worried about it as she believes criticism comes with the territory for any entertainer.

“I knew there was going to be negativity, because that comes with everything you do,” Zendaya stated. “People are entitled to their opinion, but I say, Angela Bassett played Tina Turner when she looked nothing like Tina Turner. And she killed it. Why? Because she became [Tina].”

With that, Zendaya has only one goal in mind that trumps all critics.

“At the end of the day I just want to make Aaliyah proud. That’s all I care about,” she admitted. “And pressure makes diamonds. That’s what I’m using this experience as.”

The Aaliyah biopic is one of two projects that Zendaya will star in. The actress is also showcasing her talent in “Zapped” as Zoey, a smartphone-addicted teen who is able to control how boys act with her phone.

Needless to say, Zoey takes full advantage of her new powers by zapping the boys around her to become more expressive about their feelings as well as act more like gentlemen and even do yoga. Soon after, Zoey’s powers start jeopardizing her relationships, which makes things all the more confusing.

“She tries to fix everything with her phone, and realizes that sometimes that’s not the bet answer to her problems,” Zendaya explains to Essence.

Needless to say, the question comes up regarding what kind of app Zendaya would create if given the chance. Her answer?

“A teleportation app to get me places fast,” she says.

“Zapped” airs on Fridays at 8pm E/P on The Disney Channel.