Fashion Avatar: Zoe Saldana

Fashion Avatar: Zoe Saldana

Zoe Yadira Saldana-Perego is an actress from the United States. Zoe participated in two episodes of Law & Order in 1999 after performing with the theater group Faces. Zoe’s professional film debut a year later, in 2000, with Center Stage, where she played a ballet dancer. Zoe was born in Passaic, New Jersey, on June 19, 1978. Her early childhood was spent primarily in Jackson Heights, New York. She grew up bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. She has two sisters, Cisely and Mariel. Zoe’s father died in a car accident around the time she was nine years old, and their mother moved the children to the Dominican Republic. Her stepfather Dagoberto Galán raised her, but her biological father Aridio Saldaa was Dominican, and her mother Asalia Nazario was Puerto Rican. In an interview with Wired, she revealed that she is 3/4 Dominican and 1/4 Puerto Rican.

Zoe found her love of dance in the Dominican Republic. She enrolled in the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy, where she studied various dance forms, but ballet is her passion. She told Vanity Fair that she left ballet even though she did not “have the feet” and she had too much dignity and ambition to just be a member of the corps de ballet. After Zoe’s sophomore year at Newtown High School, her family relocated to New York City. In 1995, she joined the Faces theater group in Brooklyn, where she performed plays with positive messages for teens about issues like substance abuse and adolescent sex.

Zoe was a member of the New York Youth Theater, and her performance in their production of Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat prompted a talent agency to contact her. Her dance training and acting expertise helped her land her first film role, in Center Stage, as ballet student Eva Rodriguez.

Zoe joined Faces after being featured on an episode of Law & Order in 1999. Saldana’s first film role was in Nicholas Hytner’s Center Stage in 2000. In 2002, she appeared in Britney Spears’ film Crossroads. The movie got mixed reviews from critics but was a box office success. Saldana co-starred in the 2002 comedy-drama Drumline with Nick Cannon, which received mixed reviews. In the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, she portrayed Anamaria, a pirate who joins Will Turner and Mr. Gibbs to confront Jack Sparrow for stealing her ship. She played Dolores Torres, an immigration officer and Star Trek fan, in The Terminal, a role that aided Zoe during her portrayal in the 2009 Star Trek reboot. In 2004, Zoe appeared in Haven and Temptation, both of which received little to no box office success.

Zoe married her longtime boyfriend Keith Britton, an actor and the CEO of My Fashion Database, in June 2010. In November 2011, she and Britton announced the end of their eleven-year relationship. From December 2011 to January 2013, Zoe was in a relationship with actor Bradley Cooper. Zoe began dating Italian artist Marco Perego in March 2013. They married in London in June 2013. Zoe revealed in July 2015 that Perego took her surname upon marriage. Zoe was renamed Zoe Saldana-Perego, and Marco was renamed Marco Perego-Saldana. Their offspring would be Perego-Saldana. Saldana and Perego have three sons, two born in November 2014 and one in February 2017.

Zoe Saldana in Colombiana

Colombiana is a 2011 French English-language action thriller film directed by Olivier Megaton and co-written and produced by Luc Besson. The film stars Zoe Saldana, with Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Lennie James, Callum Blue, and Jordi Mollà supporting roles. The term “Colombiana” refers to a Colombian woman. Cataleya, a nine-year-old girl in Colombia whose family is murdered by a drug lord, is the subject of the film. Cataleya, now grown, seeks her vengeance fifteen years later. While the movie got a mixed reaction from critics, Saldana’s action sequences were praised, and the film grossed $63.4 million against a $40 million budget.

Zoe decided to accept the role because she said, “What got me so enthused was the opportunity to work with Luc Besson, another filmmaker I completely respect and known for writing great roles for women. And I was excited about working with an international cast and crew. And even though it’s a typical story of revenge, it’s a story told through the eyes of a woman who was hurt when she was a little girl and who grows up wanting justice for what was done to her. I felt touched by that.”

Knowing that Zoe filmed it in Paris, she indeed loved filming there because she added, “I’m a New Yorker, so any cities that resemble the architecture, history, crafts, Fashion, and art of New York are cities that are very dear to me and that make me feel at home. When I’m working, work takes center stage because I’m on set training, studying my script, and researching. But I had a week off while the production was preparing to ship out to Chicago, so I managed to have some recreational time. It really was the best of both worlds.”

Zoe Saldana on fighting training and how the world adopts women making stunt roles

We have all seen those incredible movie stunts that make our jaws drop and our hearts race. It can be challenging to believe that a stunt performer is performing a wild car chase, a death-defying jump, or an incredible tumbling sequence. However, there is often a natural person behind those stunning visuals, participating in the art form known as stunt work. These performers master specialized physical skills for film, television, and theater projects that require years of training. While the training can be difficult, creating these breathtaking scenes that will go down in theatrical and motion picture history is well worth it.

Somehow, Zoe Saldana attended fight training during their Avatar filmmaking. Zoe stated that “I have a background in classical ballet, so I like structure and order, and when a new kind of fighting gets tossed in, it takes my brain and memory a little time to get attached to it. But I’m always hungry to learn, so in that regard, it was easy. And whatever training I’ve had on a previous project, I can always take on the next. It’s just a matter of starting at another plateau. But I think everything would have taken a little longer if it wasn’t for the training I had on Avatar.”
Zoe added, “There are writers, producers, and directors who want to showcase another side of womanhood and the female anatomy. Our primary instincts are compassion, but there are more and more roles showing that we are not the vulnerable damsels in distress but strong and virile.” During that time, women are consistently underestimated for doing the work of same work as men. Zoe just proved that women can do better.

Zoe Saldana in different roles

All actors and actresses can choose whether to take the role offer. Not all actresses can be flexible in selecting roles like Zoe. “My job is to be as multidimensional and chameleon-like as possible. Also, my job as a woman and artist is to have direction and to know in my heart that I want to represent myself and women in a certain light. In the past, I’ve played supporting roles, the love interest, the chick in the flick. I’m not degrading that. But it just doesn’t fulfill me as much as when I get to play someone who represents me as entirely as can be.” Zoe said.

Zoe is one of the plenty of significantly flexible actresses, and she once shared that “I go through almost a detox process after completing a film. I guess I dive too much into the heads of the women I play. In a way, they became avatars for me. I’d like to think I can leave that part of myself at the office, but I can’t. The character is always haunting me. In Colombiana, the woman I play witnessed something so traumatic as a child, and what was taken from her was so important that it threw out the balanced life she could have had as a decent human being. So she lives in constant extremes – when she’s violent, she’s extremely violent, and when she’s vulnerable, she’s frail. That’s one of the things that drew me to her, that she’s so torn apart and living in a world that can eat her up. Even though I sometimes live on extremes, I always strive for balance.”

On directing

Zoe is not just an actress. Zoe became a director as well. “It’s not like it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for years and years. I haven’t really been pondering it. If anything, even if I have wanted it, I’ve been afraid to put it out into the universe. Sometimes if you want something really badly and it doesn’t happen, you can be really disenchanted by it. But I have had the offer made in the past. Directors would see how meticulous I am. I would drive them insane sometimes, asking all these questions about the lighting or the camera. They would just hear me think out loud. One of them said, “You’re going to end up directing one day.” That gave me the certainty that if I had really been feeling this way, I should go look for it because it might be looking for me. That’s one thing that I believe is that when you throw yourself out there, and you’re looking for something, maybe it’s waiting for you too, you will find each other somewhere in the middle. That ties in with my belief that everything combines fate, and you are looking for your own fate.” Started by Zoe. 

“I wish I was one of those tech minds who sees a gadget and who knows immediately how it works. But I’m not. So I really have had to learn on the job. I’ve been working in film for 11 years, always on the acting side, and I sometimes took the liberty to talk to the director of photography or the lighting guys. I always respected what they did, but it came from an unknowing place.” She added.

Zoe puts the standards high when it comes to being kind and polite to everyone around her. Zoe respected people in her field of work, big or small; she also said, “Now I know how much work they do, that it’s the behind-the-scenes people who are the first to come in and the last to leave. I’m in their shoes and behind the camera and have a new respect for them. Now that I’m sitting on the opposite side of the camera, I’m included in every component – the stunt people, the casting process, script supervision, and storyboarding. I understand the power factor now, the control a director can have over an actor. I want to be good enough at it, so I’m taking camera classes, using the same Canon camera used to do The Social Network and other films. It gives a texture to film that’s so contemporary to this day and age.” This only shows that not all artists are destined to be an artist. Some really have talents outside the filmmaking world. Zoe is one of the talented actresses who can do both acting and directing.

Zoe Saldana’s love for Fashion

Actors and actresses are great influencers to our fans and other people, whether it is their lifestyle, business, or Fashion. Zoe Saldana loves to mix and match her clothes and share them with her followers. Being a fashion lover runs into Zoe’s family. She shared, “Fashion is part of the craftsmanship, I think, of filmmaking.” “I love the artistry of Fashion and how things get made,” said Zoe. It ties into my love of art and dancing. I feel like it runs in my family. I grew up in a household where my great-grandmother and grandmother were seamstresses for fashion houses. My mother is very fashion-forward, an excellent instructor in the art of Fashion, and has fantastic taste.”

Zoe’s family is not the only reason why Zoe loves Fashion. Keith Britton became Zoe’s fashion influencer, his ex-fiancé. Saldana married her former boyfriend Keith Britton, an actor and the CEO of My Fashion Database, in June 2010. In November 2011, she and Britton revealed the end of their eleven-year relationship. “My fiancé Keith Britton used to be a model and loves Fashion. We co-founded myfdb.com – myfashiondatabase.com. It’s taken off – we’re getting at least 250,000 hits monthly. It’s all about Fashion from behind the scenes, which didn’t exist until we set the site up. The site has become a machine that grows every day because Fashion is in our everyday lives, and it’s for everyone.” says Zoe. Knowing that Zoe loves Fashion, one of her favorite brands are Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balmain. These designer goods are not just a fashion brand. These brands are well-known brands all over the world.

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