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Is Art REALLY the father of Tashi's daughter in Challengers? We have a theory...

Is Art REALLY the father of Tashi's daughter in Challengers? We have a theory...


Is Art REALLY the father of Tashi's daughter in Challengers? We have a theory...
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Lily Donaldson's paternity is more up in the air than you might think!

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(Editor's note: This post contains minor spoilers for Challengers.)

It's been just about a week since Luca Guadagnino's latest hit drama film Challengers debuted on the big screen, but there are still many questions that remain after viewing, including the paternity of Tashi Duncan's daughter...

The film follows the triad of Tashi Duncan (Zendaya), Art Donaldson (Mike Faist), and Patrick Zweig (Josh O'Connor) as they navigate the competitive world of tennis – and romance – from teenagerdom well into their thirties. The heated rivalry between the athletes on and off the court creates a delicious homoeroticism between the childhood friends and Tashi not only encourages it, but laps it up. Especially since her career-ending knee injury, the attention of her "little white boys" fighting over her heart is the only thing that makes her feel alive like she did on the court.

But while many viewers finish the film and wonder who actually won the match, or if Tashi was a bad person (let women be bad!), the question bouncing around in our brain is, "Whose kid is that??"

Lily, who is somewhere between 6-10 years old, is introduced early in the film as Tashi's daughter. As Tashi and Art are married and have been together for over a decade, it's assumed that Lily is their child.

But as we learn later in the film, Tashi cheated on Art with Patrick in Atlanta about eight years prior to the film's central match.

Patrick was wearing Tashi's "I TOLD YA" shirt when he spotted her by herself at a hotel bar and came to join her. The two chatted late into the night, and Patrick learned Tashi was recently married. The implication is that she's not yet had a child, though it is not explicitly stated.

Art stumbles into the hotel lobby around 3am and sees them sitting close together. But after a fan momentarily distracted him, Tashi and Patrick vanished.

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As the two kissed just moments before, it's implied that the two snuck off and did the deed, marking the first of two times Tashi cheated on Art with Patrick.

The timeline makes it entirely possible that Lily could be Patrick's kid.

The question of paternity never comes up as a plot point in the film, though it certainly hovers over the story. Art actually doesn't speak directly to Lily once throughout the movie. Their only interaction is when Tashi cheats on Art the second time and when she comes home, she finds Art sleeping in Lily's bed.

And when Patrick asks Tashi to be his coach behind the hotel and makes a point to forget Lily's name, the moment could be interpreted as a knowing dig over her paternity. Tashi's frazzled reaction would also make more sense if that was the case...

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The layers! Someone get Zendaya on the phone ASAP, because Tashi's got some explaining to do!

So what do you think? Is Lily Team Patrick or Team Art?

Challengers is now playing in theaters.

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Taylor Henderson

Pop culture nerd. Lives for drama. Obsessed with Beyonce's womb. Tweets way too much.

Pop culture nerd. Lives for drama. Obsessed with Beyonce's womb. Tweets way too much.