Zoe Saldana was born in New Jersey and raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic where they would live for the next 7 years. While living in the Dominican Republic, Zoe discovered a keen interest in performance dance and began her training at the prestigious ECOS Espacio de Danza Dance Academy where she learned ballet as well as other dance forms. Not only did her training provide an excellent outlet for the enthusiastic and energetic youngster, it would also prove to be a fortunate precursor for the start of her professional acting career. At age 17, Zoe and her family moved back to the United States where her love for dance followed and an interest in theater performance became stronger. She began performing with the Faces theater troupe which put on plays geared to provide positive messages for teens with themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and sex. These performances not only gave her valuable experience but also a source of great pride knowing that she was making a difference in the lives of young people like herself. While performing with the Faces troupe and also the New York Youth Theater, Zoe was recruited for a talent agency and her dance training years before coupled with her acting experience greatly helped her land her first big screen role as "Eva Rodriguez", the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in the film Center Stage (2000). Since her professional career began just a few years ago, Zoe's talent and determination has allowed her to be involved in blockbuster films and act with major actors, actresses and industry insiders at a pace that very few young professionals have experienced. Zoe has not only held her own in major motion picture productions but gained the respect and praise from industry insiders such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg and actors/actresses such as Tom Hanks, Bernie Mac, Keira Knightley, Ashton Kutcher, Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom. According to many of her costars, producers, and directors, the sky is no limit for this young star who has incredible range, intense concentration, and a steely determination to be involved with projects that challenge her professionally with wide-ranging subject matters and characters. Just to ask practically anyone who she has worked for or with about her, glowing comments abound and earned friendships and respect are readily revealed. A star has been born, and growing every day.IMDb Mini Biography By: LeoRMC
Her father was of Dominican descent; her mother is Puerto Rican.
Ranked #42 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 Women of 2008 list.
Had not seen the original series, before she was cast in Star Trek (2009).
Was chosen as one of People Magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful People in the World, Beauty at Every Age section, for age 28, in May 2007.
She had a smaller role in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), and was set to star in the sequels, but never did. In the final scene of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) the people were told an old friend would return, and while filming the scene, the actors were told it was Zoe who would return. However, it was Geoffrey Rush, and only told the actors it was Zoe to surprise them, and get real authenticity in their faces. Zoe never reprised her character.
Did an intense nonstop six-month preparation for Avatar (2009) including martial arts, archery and horseback riding.
Likes to play strong female characters. And said in an interview with a Danish film-site that she was really looking forward to evolving her character of Uhura into a stronger, kick-ass lady in future Star Trek (2009) sequels.
Says she's a sci-fi geek who just happens to dress nice.
Was in a relationship with actor Keith Britton from 2005 to 2011.
Ranked #3 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 Women of 2010 list.
Voted #37 on the 2011 Maxim list "Hot 100" women.
Ranked #91 in the 2011 FHM list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World".
Ranked #24 in the 2010 FHM UK list of "100 Sexiest Women in the World".
Was engaged to Keith Britton in June 2010 but they split in November 2011.
Co-founder, with Keith Britton, of website, My Fashion Data Base (MyFDB.com). They are also business partners in the website.
Lives in New York City and Los Angeles, California.
When I go to the D.R., the press in Santo Domingo always asks, "¿Qué te consideras, dominicana o americana?" (What do you consider yourself, Dominican or American?) I don't understand it, and it's the same people asking the same question. So I say, time and time again, "Yo soy una mujer negra." ("I am a black woman.") [They go] "Oh, no, tú eres trigueñita." ("Oh no, you are 'dark skinned'") I'm like, "No! Let's get it straight, yo soy una mujer negra." ("I am a black woman.")
I am actually! I'm very proud to say I am a geek. But I'm kind of a cool geek. I grew up in a very sci-fi home so I've seen a lot of sci-fi movies, from Dune to Alien, 2001, E.T., Batteries Not Included... All these films I go crazy for. But never Star Trek.
I tend to be very picky, so I look for the perfect man! So if Spock and Kirk can mix, they'd become my perfect man. That's the kind of guy I'd go for. I don't only go for muscles, I don't only go for brains. You just need to have a little bit of a bad boy and a geek and then you've got the perfect guy.
I was still living in New York at the time, and I heard that James Cameron was getting ready to shoot a movie. At first, I thought it was going to be that Japanese franchise that he owns; I read for that and it disappeared. Then, like a month later, they want to put me back on tape ... the script excerpts used for auditions were about this girl from a tribe in the jungle and I was like, this is weird. But I put myself on tape again and, a month later, around July 2006, they called me and told me that in a week, I was going to L.A. to meet James Cameron. I remember being very nervous, but he was just such a polite and approachable person. It felt like a meeting where we were getting to know each other, as opposed to an audition, where I have to put my act on -- on auditioning for Avatar (2009).
They're out there - people just aren't investing in them. We can sit here forever discussing it, because it has a chicken vs. the egg quality. Bottom line, producers are business people. Hollywood is a money-making machine. At the end of the day, they have to produce numbers that will help them keep their jobs and companies alive. But we as consumers have a lot more power than we think. Women need to demand better roles and get audiences to see their films. Because if a film doesn't make $150 million, producers and studios aren't going to bankroll a similar film next time. If there were more filmmakers that were female, trust me, it would be all about women. -- on the current landscape of quality roles for actresses.
I don't know if its something that he's been consciously aware of, to be honest. What do know is that he's been impacted by interesting women all his life, because you can tell he's in tune with his feminine side. I've learned this about men who write good roles for women - there's a very beautiful sentimentality to them. Their exteriors are sugarcoated with this manly presence, but deep on the inside, there's also this [fragility]. During the shortness of my career, I've managed to work with [Steven] Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and now Jim - all directors who are known for having strong female protagonists. They don't feel diminished by it as men; they can tap into the complexities of how woman really are. -- on James Cameron creating strong female characters.
... I will say is that my Avatar (2009) character, Neytiri, has been the most challenging of my entire career - physically, mentally and spiritually. It's the first time I played a non-human, I had to learn a different language, and it was hard to part with her at the end. No matter how intense other characters have been, I've only been in their skins for at most four months - never a year and a half.
I love sex. I love skin. I don't believe the body is something to hide. I think in American society we're messing up our kids by taking away the education on, and awareness of, our sexuality and replacing it with violence, guns and video games - and we're breeding little criminals.
[about her dislike of making Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)] I didn't like the experience of working on 'Pirates' and I feel that it is my job to be completely honest. To me, that's what a Hollywood movie felt like. If that's what I have to witness, and have to go through, to do a Hollywood movie, I'd rather do something else. It was just too massive. You really felt the immensity of it. Just not my taste.
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