Zoe Saldana is media blitzing for her upcoming film projects, including “Nina” and “Star Trek.” The Puerto Rican and Dominican actress graced the May covers of Latina and InStyle’s spring hair issue and bared her soul for those willing to listen. Many women of color, particularly black American women, tuned out after she accepted the Nina Simone role, but that isn’t pulling Saldana down from her soapbox. She addressed the “Nina” critics, detailed her hesitation to star in “Star Trek” and discussed her love for Latinas in both issues.
Here are several highlights:
On Her Hair, Complexion and Latina Heritage:
“In Latino culture, hair carries a lot of history, a lot of weight, and a lot of energy. I always liked my hair. I never wanted to have any other skin but my own, any other hair but my own.”
On Fashion as Healing:
“My mom raised my sisters and I with a strong sense of self. [My mother] always said, ‘Honey, there is nothing that a red lipstick and a pair of red shoes can’t heal, cure, or solve.’ And I absolutely believe that. They can get you out of anything, even the biggest funk of your life.”
On Her Role of Uhura in “Star Trek”
“I was afraid…I was very concerned. I think I was just a little beside myself because after the treat and the gift of booking Avatar and being in the middle of shooting, to be able to then do another great movie with another great filmmaker back to back—I was a little overwhelmed and I thought: ‘Maybe I should just take some time off and focus and just rest?’ But my mom is a Trekkie, and my team was like, ‘Zoe, are you stupid? Don’t let fear immobilize you. This is an amazing opportunity to step into the shoes of an iconic character in an iconic series and it’s in space and you’re a sci-fi buff.’ And I was like, ‘oh my God, who am I kidding? Absolutely. I’ll totally do it.”
On the Nina Simone Backlash
“The reality is that nobody knows the story as to why this collaboration came to be—nobody knows the full story—and at the end of the day all I’m going to say is that every person that is a part of this project came together for no other reason than the unconditional love for Nina Simone’s music, her persona, her life, what she did, what she left for us, what her music still continues to do not only to women, but to Americans, and African Americans, and also people of color, just everything. On all spectrums, Nina Simone’s story is worth telling and with the members that it came to be, like it’s just…you have to give it a chance…Watch it and then make up your mind. I’m happy that we all held together and we went for it. No regrets.”
On Not Needing A Man
“I don’t want to need things. I need water, you know what I’m saying? I need to exercise, I need to eat. To be with a man, should be a want. I don’t need anybody. And the people that I do need are just family, tu entiendes? But a man is something that I want, I want be with a partner, because this partner is going to add or I’m going to add to this partner.”
“Star Trek” opens nationwide May 17.