Zoe Saldana

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Saldaña and the second or maternal family name is Nazario.
Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana Cannes 2013.jpg
Born Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario
(1978-06-19) June 19, 1978 (age 36)
Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
Other names Zoë Saldaña
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Marco Perego (m. 2013)
Partner(s) Keith Britton (2000–2011)

Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario (/sælˈdænə/ sal-DAN; born June 19, 1978),[1] known as Zoë Saldana or Zoe Saldana, is an American actress of Dominico-Puerto Rican origin. She had her breakthrough roles in the 2000 film Center Stage and the 2002 film Crossroads. She later gained prominence for her roles as Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Uhura in the 2009 film Star Trek and its 2013 sequel Star Trek into Darkness, and her motion capture work as Neytiri in James Cameron's Avatar (2009) and its upcoming sequels.

Early life[edit]

Saldana was born Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario[1] in Passaic, New Jersey.[2][3] Her father, Aridio Saldaña, was from the Dominican Republic, and her mother, Asalia Nazario, is from Puerto Rico.[4][5] She has often spoken of her pride in being from a Latin culture.[6] She also has Haitian and Lebanese roots.[7] Her first languages are English and Spanish. She spent the majority of her early childhood growing up in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. Her father died in a car accident when she was nine years old,[8] and Saldaña and her mother subsequently moved to the Dominican Republic. There, Saldaña discovered her love of dance and soon enrolled in the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy; she studied ballet, jazz, and modern Latin dance.[2][4][9] The family returned to Queens after her sophomore year in high school.

In 1995, she began performing with the FACES theater group in Brooklyn,[10] which put on plays geared toward providing positive messages for teens, via themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and adolescent sexuality. Concurrently, she performed with the New York Youth Theater; her appearance in their production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat led a talent agency to recruit her. Her previous dance training, and her acting experience, helped her land her first film role, playing Eva, the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in the 2000 film Center Stage.[2][4]

Career[edit]

Saldana at the 82nd Academy Awards, 2010

Saldana was still a member of FACES when she gained exposure in an episode of Law & Order (titled "Merger") which first aired in 1999.[11] Saldana's first film role was in Center Stage (2000), directed by Nicholas Hytner, about a group of young dancers from various backgrounds who enroll at the fictitious American Ballet Academy in New York City. She left school after Center Stage, subsequently appearing in the Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads (2002) and the comedy-drama Drumline (2002). She played Anamaria, a female pirate who signs up to join Will Turner and Mr Gibbs for a chance to confront Jack Sparrow for stealing her ship in the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Saldana appeared in three films in 2004, including The Terminal, Haven and Temptation. In 2005 Saldana appeared in Constellation, Guess Who with Ashton Kutcher, and Dirty Deeds, and in 2006 featured in Premium.

Saldana appeared in two high-profile roles in 2009: Uhura in the film reboot Star Trek,[12] and the alien huntress Neytiri in James Cameron's Avatar, both of which raised her profile considerably.[4] Coincidentally, it was Spielberg that taught her the Vulcan salute five years earlier in working with her: Her character in The Terminal was a Trekkie.[13]

In 2010, Saldana starred in The Losers in which she played Aisha al-Fadhil, for which she was required to gain weight, as she was expected to carry weapons around for eight hours a day.[14] Saldana also appeared in Takers, Death at a Funeral and Burning Palms. In August 2010, her television ad for Calvin Klein's "Envy" line debuted.[15] In 2011, Saldana starred in the romantic comedy The Heart Specialist, and she also starred in the crime drama movie Colombiana as Cataleya Restrepo, a professional assassin. In 2012, she starred in the drama film The Words.

Saldana reprised her role in Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to the 2009 reboot which was released in May 2013. In April 2013, Saldana entered negotiations to star as Gamora in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy.[16] She later confirmed her part in the film.[17] Saldana will reprise the role of Neytiri in Avatar 2 in 2015.[18] In May 2014, she starred in a TV miniseries adaptation of Rosemary's Baby.

Personal life[edit]

In June 2010, Saldana became engaged to her long-time boyfriend Keith Britton, an actor and CEO of My Fashion Database.[19] In November 2011, Saldana and Britton announced that they had ended their relationship after 11 years together.[20] She was in an "on again, off again" relationship with actor Bradley Cooper from December 2011 to January 2013.[21] In 2013, Zoe started dating Italian artist Marco Perego. Saldana and Perego secretly married in June 2013 in London.[22][23]

In 2009, she said she would avoid plastic surgery, telling Women's Health magazine "God as my witness, I am going to try to do everything I can to keep this ass together for as long as I possibly can—without going against nature."[13] She watches what she eats but does not diet and does Pilates regularly saying "It's the closest thing to dance."[13]

Saldana is a celebrity supporter of FINCA International, a microfinance organization.[24]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Center Stage Eva Rodriguez
2001 Get Over It Maggie
2001 Snipes Cheryl
2002 Crossroads Kit
2002 Drumline Laila
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Anamaria
2004 Terminal, TheThe Terminal Dolores Torres
2004 Haven Andrea
2004 Temptation Annie
2005 Constellation Rosa Boxer
2005 Guess Who Theresa Jones
2005 Dirty Deeds Rachel Buff
2006 Premium Charli
2006 Heart Specialist, TheThe Heart Specialist Donna
2007 After Sex Kat
2007 Blackout Claudine
2008 Vantage Point Angie Jones
2009 Star Trek Nyota Uhura
2009 Skeptic, TheThe Skeptic Cassie
2009 Avatar Neytiri
2010 Losers, TheThe Losers Aisha
2010 Takers Lily Jansen
2010 Death at a Funeral Elaine
2010 Burning Palms Sara Cotton
2011 Colombiana Cataleya Restrepo
2012 Words, TheThe Words Dora Jansen
2013 Blood Ties Vanessa
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness Nyota Uhura
2013 Out of the Furnace Lena Warren
2014 Unity Narrator Documentary
2014 Infinitely Polar Bear Maggie Stuart
2014 The Book of Life Maria In post-production; voice role
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora In post-production
2014 Nina Nina Simone In post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Law & Order Unnamed Episode: "Refuge, Part 2" (Credited as Zoë Saldaña)
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Gabrielle Vega Episode: "Criminal"
2006–07 Six Degrees Regina 5 episodes
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Zoe Saldana Wears A Tan Blouse & Glasses"
2014 Rosemary's Baby Rosemary Woodhouse Two-part miniseries

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Star Trek Nyota Uhura Voice and likeness

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2003 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss (with Nick Cannon) Drumline Nominated
2005 Black Movie Awards Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Guess Who Nominated
Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Breakout Performance – Female Nominated
2006 Black Reel Awards Best Actress Nominated
2009 ALMA Awards Actress in Film Star Trek Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Ensemble Cast Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress – Action/Adventure Nominated
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Ensemble Nominated
People's Choice Award Favorite Breakout Movie Actress Nominated
Scream Award Best Science Fiction Actress Nominated
Breakout Performance – Female Nominated
Best Ensemble Nominated
2010 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Best Actress Avatar Won
BET Awards Best Actress Nominated
Black Reel Awards Best Actress Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Acting Ensemble Star Trek Nominated
Empire Awards Best Actress Avatar Won
Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Kids' Choice Awards Cutest Couple (with Sam Worthington) Nominated
Favorite Movie Actress Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Female Performance Nominated
Best Kiss (with Sam Worthington) Nominated
Scream Award Best Science Fiction Actress Nominated
Saturn Award Best Actress Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress – Sci-Fi Won
Choice Movie Actress – Action/Adventure The Losers Nominated
Choice Movie Actress – Comedy Death at a Funeral Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture[25][26] Avatar Won
2011 ALMA Awards Favorite Movie Actress – Drama/Adventure Takers Nominated
BET Awards Best Actress The Losers Nominated
Death at a Funeral Nominated
Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture The Losers Nominated
SFX Awards Best Actress Avatar Nominated
2012 BET Awards Best Actress Colombiana Nominated
Black Reel Awards Best Actress[27] Nominated
Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress – Action Won
ALMA Awards Favorite Movie Actress Drama/Adventure Won
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Star Trek Into Darkness Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Zoe Saldana profile at FilmReference.com". Retrieved October 16, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Official Website of Zoe Saldana – Biography". Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ Buchanan, Jason (2008). "Zoe Saldana – Overview". MSN. Retrieved July 29, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Zoe Saldana Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  5. ^ Saldana in Balfour, Brad (September 12, 2006). "Zoë Saldana Finds Creative Shelter in Making Haven". Pop Entertainment. Archived from the original on November 15, 2006. Retrieved February 10, 2013. "My mother and my father are Dominican." 
  6. ^ Eggenberger, Nicole (May 14, 2013). "Zoe Saldana Poses Topless for Allure, Says She Might "End Up" Raising Kids With a Woman". Allure Magazine. Retrieved May 14, 2013. "It doesn't matter how much backlash I will get for it," "I will honor and respect my black community because that's who I am."" 
  7. ^ "Zoe Saldana Finds A True Match For Her Skin Tone". Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Menounos, Maria. "Conversations with Maria". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  9. ^ Buchanan, Jason. "Zoe Saldana - Biography - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  10. ^ Zoe Saldana Heats Up the Sundance Film Festival With 'The Words'
  11. ^ "Merger". Law & Order. Season 10. Episode 4. 1999-10-13. NBC.
  12. ^ "Zoë Saldana Cast in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" movie". March 2, 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b c "Actress Zoe Saldana's Star Turn". Women's Health. April 13, 2009. 
  14. ^ Weintraub, Steve (March 25, 2010). "Zoe Saldana On Set Interview THE LOSERS – Read or Listen Here". Collider. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Zoe Saldana Calvin Klein TV Ad Revealed! Bares Secrets for Nothing to Hide". UrbLife.com. August 29, 2010. 
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (April 3, 2013). "Zoe Saldana in Talks to Star in Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  17. ^ White, Brett (May 3, 2013). "'Guardians Of The Galaxy': Zoe Saldana Confirms She's Going Green". mtv.com. Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sam Worthington & Zoë Saldana To Return For ‘Avatar’ Sequels; Fox Eyeing End Of Year Start". Deadline. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Avatar's Zoe Saldana Is Engaged!". USMagazine.com. June 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Zoe Saldana, Fiance Split After 11 Years Together". Us Weekly. November 12, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Swirly Break Ups: Zoe Saldana And Bradley Cooper Split…Again". 
  22. ^ Webber, Stephanie (September 10, 2013). "Zoe Saldana Marries Marco Perego in Secret Wedding Ceremony!". US Weekly. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Zoë Saldana Marries Marco Perego". People Magazine. September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  24. ^ Zoe Saldana Supports FINCA's Hand Up for Haiti Campaign "FINCA International website," March 20, 2011.
  25. ^ King, Susan (March 1, 2010). "Visual effects, sound and cinematography awards". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2010. [dead link]
  26. ^ "VES Awards-Nominees-2010" (PDF). Visual Effects Society. January 19, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Pariah’s Nine Noms Lead the Black Reel Awards Field". The Black Reel Awards. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 

External links[edit]