Zoe Saldana is taking on an iconic role – and she isn’t letting the naysayers get her down. The dominicana and Boricua is tackling the Roman Polanski classic Rosemary's Baby, a film about a woman who believes her husband may have made a deal with... well, we'll just say concerning the occult and her baby. Now the classic is being retold on NBC in the form of a miniseries, premiering this Sunday. We sat down at a small tea at The Palm Court in The Plaza Hotel in NYC alongside other reporters to talk about her involvement as both lead and producer, being a woman of color in the industry and how she planned on reinterpreting the character of Rosemary. Read it all below!
Do you remember the first time you watched Rosemary’s Baby?
Yeah, I was with my mom. It was in our apartment in Queens, and I don’t know if it was dubbed in Spanish, I don’t know if it was on Univision or something, but I remember feeling so scared. [And] I didn’t understand… cause the whole thing about Roman’s movie is that he left it all to the imagination, there was nothing graphic. So I think I was a little too young to understand that I needed to just let my imagination go. I remember watching going, ‘What’s in the crib?!’ But you never see the baby! And [director] Agnieszka Holland pushes it a bit, but leaves it a bit back [too].
What did you want to do differently than in Roman Polanski’s version?
What I liked about this modern tell of it, is that we were going to have the opportunity with having a female director and a very opinionated New Yorker, we were going to bring to life what we felt would be a more realistic woman, that is less subservient. Kind, lightspirited, innocent, but not a slave to a marriage or to a man or overly obedient. She loves her husband, she’s very much committed to her marriage, but she’s inquisitive and she will raise concerns and even when she’s not heard she’ll try to the best of her abilities to be heard and that to me was much more natural for me to channel that.
I wouldn’t even know where to start – I would need months of preparation to play a subservient woman, I mean it’s inconceivable to me [laughs].
Since you were producing as well and since this is for NBC, did you ever feel the desire to make it any darker than general NBC standards?
No, we all had a feeling that NBC, just by green-lighting this project, and having it air on their network and wanting it to be aired on Mother’s Day, which I thought was brilliant, that this was a risk that they were already taking. So I felt like we had a certain amount of freedom.
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