Don’t accuse Zoe Saldana of selling out for taking roles in movies like Guardians of the Galaxy or Avatar, because she strongly disagrees with that sentiment. Comic book movies have become the biggest of the big when it comes to Hollywood movies. As such, quite a few talented actors have taken roles in major franchises over the course of the last decade or so. Some view that as selling out, to some degree, but in a recent interview Saldana tore apart that notion and demonstrated her passion for her work, while also sharing respect for her superhero movie co-stars. Here’s what she had to say.
“I’ve been in rooms with people in this industry who are great at what they do, but they’re absolutely elitist and they look down at movies like the Marvel films or actors like myself. They think we’re selling out in some way. Every time they speak I feel so disappointed in them, because whenever you see pictures of people in this industry who donate their time to children in need, it’s these actors that live in the world that you feel is selling out. That actor takes time out of their life and sits down with that five-year-old and says, ‘I see you, I hear you, and you matter.’ Those elitists should be a little more cognizant about what playing a superhero means to a young child. Because you’re not just dissing me, you’re dissing what that child considers important in their world.”
Zoe Saldana continued, “I feel so proud to be living in space, to be playing green and blue aliens, to inspire, primarily, the younger generations. I remember what it was like to be young and to feel completely excluded out of the mainstream conversation of life because I was just little and unimportant and ‘other.'” The actress, who is set to appear in Avengers: Infinity War later this month, definitely has a point. Many actors, including her co-star Chris Pratt, are regularly seen reaching out to children who look up to the characters they portray. She also was asked about representation, and revealed that, while female-driven action movies like Alien and Terminator helped inspire her, she realized there was a difference when she embarked on her own career.
“As a child, when I saw Sigourney Weaver play Ellen Ripley or Linda Hamilton play Sarah Connor, they were my true north, because I loved action, I loved science fiction and I loved the roles that they played. They were inspiring to me; I wanted that. It wasn’t until I started in my own career that I was reminded that I wasn’t ‘like’ them.”
It’s not just those in front of the screen who may be accused of selling out. The filmmakers, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn, are just as vulnerable to such criticisms. Zoe Saldana defended them as well, saying that these movies help them feel included.
“I work with filmmakers who gravitated to this genre because they were exiles in their own right, excluded from a mainstream conversation. They found their world and they were able to imagine the unimaginable. Everything about how they create, and how they invite characters to join them, is absolutely inclusive.”
If Hollywood is going to continue to make superhero movies and other such blockbusters, which they definitely are, then why not have the most talented actors possible in them? Great performers and performances help elevate these movies and can help make them more than just hollow popcorn cinema. Zoe Saldana’s frustrations are certainly understandable, but she clearly doesn’t let these things stop her from doing what she feels is best. This comes to us courtesy of Net-A-Porter.