Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana Drops the Mic

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-18 19:44Z by Steven

Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana Drops the Mic

June 2016

Sarah Van Boven

She doesn’t shy away from confronting sexism. She doesn’t shy away from facing issues of race in Hollywood. In fact, Zoe Saldana doesn’t shy away. Full stop.

Zoe Saldana is talking shit. No, for real: “Everybody told me, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I know you hate changing diapers, but when you have your own kid…. Well, guess what? I had my own kids, and I will do whatever I need to do to not change a dirty diaper,” the 38-year-old star of this month’s Star Trek Beyond says of her now-19-month-old identical twin boys, Cy and Bowie. “A blowout? I can’t do it—I end up with shit everywhere! There is shit on the boy; there is shit on me; there is shit in my hair. And I’m like, How did this happen?”

How did this happen? How did the little girl from Queens who got shipped off to the Dominican Republic at nine years old when her father died suddenly and her mother needed to focus like a laser on supporting her family end up here, dropping an ice cube into the glass of pink champagne she’s having to celebrate wrapping up a photo shoot with Patrick Demarchelier? Well, first of all, you get the feeling that things don’t “happen” to Zoe Saldana. She wills them into existence with the same titanium-core determination that propelled her from her breakout role as a mouthy ballet student in the 2000 movie Center Stage straight through to her impressive current position of starring in not one, not two, but three blockbuster movie franchises that have already grossed a cumulative $4.4 billion worldwide (and that’s before the filming of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has even wrapped or Avatar 2, 3, 4, or 5 has come to an IMAX anywhere near you). But enough about her hugely successful career. Saldana wants to get back to talking about her toddlers…

…Which brings us to a topic that has dogged Saldana for almost five years: her role as the iconic black singer in the recently released biopic Nina. From her initial casting in 2012 to the first trailer on YouTube to the quiet, no-fanfare release of the film in April, Saldana has been pilloried online for having the audacity to play the dark-skinned, highly political singer. And after Saldana tweeted a quote from Simone, the singer’s estate tweeted, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out of your mouth. For the rest of your life.” Saldana faces these criticisms, like everything else in her life, head-on.

“There’s no one way to be black,” she says quietly and slowly, clearly choosing her words carefully. “I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.”…

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