Zoe Saldana Says She's One of the Guys: "I’m a Natural Tomboy"

If anyone can hold her own against a group of boys, it's Zoe Saldana. She learned martial arts for Avatar and was virtually the only girl on the Star Trek set. So, it’s no surprise that she plays Aisha, the only woman (a sexy and mysterious operative) in the action flick The Losers, which opens in theaters Friday. Latina.com was recently part of a roundtable with Saldana and we asked her about life after Avatar and being a bad-ass.

You character in The Losers, Aisha, is really a tough girl. What attracted you to her character?

I think it was because I’d never done a character like her before. I read the script three years ago and I just thought it was really interesting and really a good action movie. Aisha blew my mind because of the kind of physical behavior that was going to be required was a challenge and really seductive for me. I really love pushing myself...And I wanted to play a bad-ass chica!

Is it easier to give off a sexual vibe with a gun in your hand?

It definitely makes you powerful in a way, so it does make you more sexual.

You studied martial arts [for Avatar]. Does being a part of an action movie come easy?

It’s definitely difficult, because you are doing something that does not come naturally. What helped is having a dance background. I have this relationship with my body. I’ve been an athlete the entire time. I love when women can incorporate their body with their character. Since I was very little, I was never Snow White or Cinderella. I was Sarah Connor (from the Terminator movies) or Ellen Ripley (from the Aliens movies), or a ninja. There were days that I was down for three days and had to go to the doctors, but I love the challenge. It definitely helps when you can incorporate your body into your character.

What’s the girliest thing about you?It’s the way I dress. The one thing I’ve learned throughout my career, from having a stylist and working with makeup people, is to dress feminine. It’s hard for me to go get a pedicure on a Friday. I can’t sit for 30 minutes and allow my nails to dry. It drives me insane.

What was it like being surrounded by men all the time while filming The Losers?

I loved it. It’s happened more than once where I’m the only female in a sea of men. I’m a natural tomboy. In my normal life I have more guy friends than female friends, so maybe I unintentionally gravitate toward those roles.

How do you go from the success of a history-making movie like Avatar to the next project?

It would be wrong to compare one thing with the other. Films are art and should be autonomous. Avatar was an amazing journey and film. Neytiri was the character that challenged me the most in my career so far, and Aisha was a different character. I feel very blessed that I’m doing characters that are different. I’m challenging myself because I’m an artist primarily and I like to try different things. And it’s always good for an actor to be employed, so it feels really, really good!

How do you feel about being a role model?

I feel very responsible. There’s also something I’m getting out of it. By knowing that there are people looking up to me, especially young women, it keeps me on track. It never allows me to ever lose my mind completely. Just when I’m going to pull an ego thing, or feel miserable, or put myself in danger, I’m reminded that everything I do is observed by people who are going to duplicate it, whether good or bad. At the same time, I also respect my privacy a lot. And I do view myself as just an individual. It’s a fine line you have to walk and it’s a challenge every day as to when to live my life, because I need to have a life, and when to understand that my life is being observed by people. And the good thing is that I have family and friends that keep me in check.

The movie was shot in Puerto Rico and you’re part Puerto Rican. What kind of experience did you have?

It was great. I lived in Dominican Republic for seven years, so going there and to Puerto Rico is coming home. And my mom was there for the first part, so we got to visit the place my mom used to live when she was younger, and we had tons of food. It was fantastic. You revert to your Latino ways. You have a beer at four o’clock in the afternoon with your mom, then you take a walk, have a little cafecito with the neighbors and you end up in La Placita, which is this little area that people go to on Fridays after work with live music and dancing and food. It was as if I was always there.

Check out the trailer for The Losers below & tell us: Do you plan on going to check it out this weekend?

Share this 
About this author

Damarys Ocaña Perez,

Damarys Ocaña Perez is Director of Editorial Content at Latina Media Ventures. She leads its magazine, Latina, the pre-eminent beauty, fashion, culture and lifestyle magazine for acculturated U.S. Hispanic women and is responsible for maintaining Latina’s voice, vision and mission across all LMV platforms. Born in Havana and raised in Miami, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

Like this post? Contribute to the discussion!