Rochelle Brodin/Getty
Patrick Gomez
August 01, 2016 01:00 PM

Zendaya is not afraid to suffer for her art.

For an upcoming, one-hour special episode of her hit Disney Channel show K.C. Undercover, the 19-year-old spent three hours a day transforming into a portly, older, male judge – and PEOPLE has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at her transformation.

“I’m not going to lie. It was definitely not super fun,” says the actress, whose character goes undercover as Judge Dudley Theopolis on Sunday’s episode. “It takes so long. It’s a very tedious process. The first time I did it, it was fun. But by the fifth time, I was used to it and definitely over it.”

Still, the transformation process was helpful in Zendaya’s process of playing an older man.

From left: Tammy Townsend, Kamil McFadden, Zendaya and Kadeem Hardison on K.C. Undercover.
Disney Channel/Isabella Vosmikova

“It’s fun to see how different I look and I immediately fall into character when I get that prosthesis on,” she says. “When you physically change so much, you can’t help but get into character. When you look like someone else it almost feels weird to act like yourself.”

And now fans will get a lot more chances to see Zendaya go undercover. The Disney Channel show has just been renewed for a third season, PEOPLE can exclusively reveal.

“It’s super exciting. I love my family here and I love that we get to keep working together,” says Zendaya. “I love how empowering K.C. is. She’s showing young girls that they can be heroes and strong and showing everyone that you can do and be anything you want.”

Disney Channel will present a weeklong K.C. Undercover event featuring encore presentations of some of the show’s most action-packed adventures and infamous guest characters from seasons 1 and 2, beginning Monday at 7 p.m. ET, and the one-hour special episode featuring Zendaya as Judge Theopolis airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. (A 1970s-themed episode entitled “The Legend of Bad, Bad Cleo Brown” will air the following Sunday.)

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