Zoe Saldana Rips Racist Hollywood Casting Execs

Zoe Saldana recently graced the cover of Nylon and gave a candid and revealing interview to the magazine. She talked about everything from the culture shock of moving between the United States and the Dominican Republic to her love of "sex and rock 'n roll." But things really got interesting when the star was asked about race in Hollywood.

Saldana joked about the many different ways in which casting directors turn her down because of the color of her skin: "When they say ‘We want to go white,’ they have a very smooth way of saying it, and the recent one is the word 'traditional.'  [I’ve heard] ‘Oh, you know, you’re just not what we were looking for, your skin is a little darker.’  Compared to what?!  My skin is just my skin. It’s dark if you compare it to someone who’s lighter." Ironically enough, Saldana was breaking down barriers just by gracing the cover of Nylon, she's the first dark-skinned woman to land the cover of the hipster magazine since Lil Kim in 2003. (But that's another issue for another day.)

When it came to auditioning for James Cameron's mega-hit movie Avatar, the color of Saldana’s skin didn't matter. Little did she know her character was going to be a nine foot, blue alien! On auditioning for the role of Neytiri she says, “I’m thinking he probably imagined some Amazonian girl—I had really long hair at the time—wearing really little shit with like, a bow and arrow...But for some reason, he was like, 'You look so much like her!'"

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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