Zoe Saldana, the Afro Latina who has starred in three of the highest-grossing movies of all time

Theodora Aidoo March 06, 2020
Zoe Saldana. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Actress Zoe Saldana recently made history as the first and only woman of color to have starred in three movies grossing over $2 billion at the box office: Avatar (2009), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Last May when the talented actress became the new queen of the box office, Avengers: Infinity War, which is a movie about the “big blue bald alien who goes on a quest to find the perfect prog-rock glove”, became the second-highest-grossing film of all time right after Avatar.

Starring Saldana as ‘Gamora’, Infinity War took $2.04 billion at the box office.

Then came Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, which took the world and box-office by storm in just 11 days, breaching the $2 billion mark. The film made $2.2 billion.

Avatar, in which Saldana starred as the alien leading lady – Neytiri – was one of the most-talked-about movies of all time. It took $2.7 billion at the box office, then an unheard-of amount of money for a movie.

Image result for zoe saldana avengers endgame
Saldana in Avengers: Endgame

Born in New Jersey to a Dominican father and a mother who is from Puerto Rico, Saldana has had the pleasure of appearing in three of the top five highest-grossing films in the world.

She has also said that she has Haitian and Lebanese ancestry.

41-year-old Saldana started acting in Pirates of the Caribbean, Law and Order, Star Trek and The Terminal and today she’s become a great success with a reported net worth of $20 million.

At the young age of nine, Saldana fell in love with ballet. “Ballet has always been my first passion, but I simply didn’t have the feet, and I have way too much pride and ambition to just be in the corps,” she told Vanity Fair.

She performed with the Faces theater troupe in plays with themes such as substance abuse and sex.

Saldana later joined a talent agency where she landed her first big-screen role as Eva Rodriguez, the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in the film Center Stage (2000).

The self-professed sci-fi fanatic’s breakthrough came in 2004 when she was 25, in the Spielberg-directed film The Terminal.

Saldana is the girl who is mostly seen in guys’ movies. “I love acting with men,” she said. “I tend to gravitate toward roles in movies where I get to be the only girl.”

She was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. At her awards ceremony, Saldana noted that having a dream is just the first step. “Step two: sleeves up, hard work, persistence, passion, perseverance. Fail often and fail forward. If at first, you don’t succeed, you dust yourself off and you try again. I learned to love what I do and do what I love and that has been my mantra. From Burger King commercials to Law and Order episodic, to a ballet movie. I got to be a pirate, an INS officer, a xenolinguistics on the Enterprise. I got to be an alien warrior – well, multiple alien warriors,” she said.

“Science fiction is a universe where a person like me who is unimaginable is imaginable by so many filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and James Cameron and James Gunn,” Saldana said.

“I got to really flourish in this genre. I got to be brave and I got to be strong and I got to play characters that weren’t only the daughter, the wife, the girlfriend. I was a warrior and I was relevant to the storyline, and I’m very proud of the path that I’ve chosen for myself by avoiding falling into stereotypical boxes.”

Saldana was ranked #29 on Maxim magazine’s Hot 100 Women of 2014 list and ranked #91 in the 2011 FHM list of “100 Sexiest Women in the World”.

The film star currently resides in New York City and Los Angeles, California with her husband and three sons and she is currently filming ‘Avatar 2’ and ‘Avatar 3’, which will be released on December 18, 2020, and December 17, 2021, respectively.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: March 6, 2020


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