Fans quickly started to wonder whether the duo were more than just friends in 2017, but the costars attempted to keep their dating lives private.
“We are friends,” Zendaya said in Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood issue in August 2017. “He’s a great dude. He’s literally one of my best friends.”
The singer told Entertainment Tonight the same month that she understood why people connected her with Holland.
“It happens all the time, and of course we expected it,” she said in August 2017. “I mean, it comes with the territory. It comes with the job, so it’s all good.”
While Holland and Zendaya denied that they were dating at the time, their friendship only got stronger. A source told Us Weekly in 2017, “Tom has met Zendaya’s family and they love him.”
Meanwhile, the Cherry star and the Disney alum continued to highlight their close friendship.
“Talking to Zendaya’s helped me a lot, actually,” Holland told British GQ in February 2021 explaining how the Shake It Up alum guided him through being in the spotlight. “I used to come across sometimes as a bit of a d–k to fans, mainly as I was always so surprised that they’d want a picture with me or signature or whatever. I’d have a typical Londoner reaction, one of instant suspicion: ‘Why are you talking to me?’”
The English actor admitted it was “very nerve-wracking” to pursue relationships in the public eye.
“It means that if you are dating someone, you have to be really conscious of their feelings, because if something does happen between the two of you, it’s not just happening between the two of you, it’s happening in front of the entire world,” he told British GQ. “And it can be very complicated. It’s one of the things I worry about most, of all the things in my career.”
Following years of denying that they were romantically linked, the twosome were spotted packing on the PDA in Holland’s car in July 2021.
“Zendaya and Tom started off as really great friends and stayed that way for a long while before things turned romantic,” a source exclusively told Us of the duo later that month, adding that they “both challenge each other and balance each other out.”
According to the insider, Holland “makes her laugh,” while Zendaya “really helps guide him through the world of celebrity.”
Scroll down to see all the times Zendaya and Holland have talked about their relationship: