Zoë Saldaña: 5 Things My Mami Taught Me

Zoe Saldana and her mother at the 2010 Crystal + Lucy Awards
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If Zoë Saldaña has always seemed wiser than her years, it’s because she was raised by a strong woman – her mother, Asalia. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are five lessons Saldaña applies to this day.

1. Male friends tend to be more honest. They don’t sugarcoat their opinions or criticisms.

2. If your neighbor gives you a plate of food, make sure you wash the plate before returning it. “I like this one,” Saldaña says. “Basically it means to always show gratitude.”

3. You have no business hanging out in other people’s houses if you have chores to take care of in your own home.

4. “If you don’t like the smell of s---, then stop flinging it.”

5. If you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. “This one is important,” Saldaña says. “It basically means when you want something done and you have unrealistic expectations, just do it yourself.”

This story appears as part of a sidebar column in the May 2013 issue of Latina magazine, on newsstands now.