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Zoe Saldana Says Without Sci-Fi Movies, Filmmakers Would Cast Her as the 'Girlfriend or Sexy Woman of Color'

by Alex Ungerman 6:30 PM PDT, June 08, 2016
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Zoe Saldana plays some seriously badass characters!

The Guardians of the Galaxy star, who is currently shooting the followup to the Marvel blockbuster, and is set to star in Star Trek Beyond this summer, as well as the next Avatar film, told CNET Magazine in a new interview that her outer space niche has allowed her to play more interesting characters than are often available to women.

"If I wasn’t doing these sci-fi movies, I would be at the mercy of filmmakers that would just look my way if they need a girlfriend or sexy woman of color in their movie," the 37-year-old actress tells the publication. "Space is different…but we can still do better. We can still give women more weight to carry in their roles."

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Saldana also credited filmmakers J.J. Abrams and James Cameron with "practicing what they preach" when it comes to making interesting characters for women.

"James Cameron is one of those rare men in the film industry that really isn’t threatened by women. He lets you know with the characters he creates that he does spend time thinking about why women are who they are, why they think the way they do," she said. "He is aware of the sacrifices and how hard-working women can be — Sarah Connor (The Terminator), Rose (The Titanic)."

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"J.J. Abrams, look at the role he created in the new Star Wars,” she continued. “It’s through the eyes of a female and we’re not gonna compromise the strength of the movie. We’re not gonna compromise her bravery. It’s like, you guys still have your testosterone-driven PEW! PEW! PEW! [pretends to fire a blaster] and it’s gonna be a girl that’s doing it."

"They're having their art imitate the life that they see and the utopia they would like to bring to life," Saldana added. "I work to bring a character to life, to walk away not feeling that I'm a disappointment in myself. That I gave it my all... When I'm met on the other side by a filmmaker that sees that, recognizes that and has a duel with me, I feel really seen. I feel like I matter."

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Saldana has called out Hollywood sexism before, and last year, spoke to ET to shut down criticism of her husband Marco Perego Saldana taking her last name in marriage.

"For men to be discriminated and picked on for wanting to take on their partner's name, for their masculinity to be put into question, I think it's disgusting," she shared. "It shouldn't be that way."

She added at the time that she hoped his decision would serve as a good example for the couple's 1-year-old twin boys, whom the actress shared a super cute picture with this week to celebrate 1 million Instagram followers.

So cute!

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