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Zoe Saldana Bio
Zoe Saldana-Perego (born June 19, 1978 known as Zoë Saldana, Zoe Saldana or Zoe Perego, is an American actress and dancer. Following her performances with the FACES theater group, Saldana made her screen debut in an episode of Law & Order (1999). Her film career began a year later with Center Stage (2000), followed by a role in Crossroads (2002). She first gained some prominence for her role as Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).
Saldana’s breakthrough came in 2009 with the roles of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek and Neytiri in James Cameron‘s Avatar (2009). The latter film received widespread acclaim, and is the highest-grossing film of all time. Saldana continued her successful career with films such as Colombiana (2011), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
Saldana was still a member of FACES when she gained exposure in an episode of Law & Order (titled “Merger”) which first aired in 1999. Saldana’s first film role was in Center Stage (2000), directed by Nicholas Hytner, about a group of young dancers from various backgrounds who enroll at the fictitious American Ballet Academy in New York City. She left school after Center Stage, subsequently appearing in the Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads (2002). The film was met with negative reviews from critics, but became somewhat of a box office success. The same year Saldana started in the comedy-drama Drumline (2002), alongside Nick Cannon, which was met with generally favourable reviews.
In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), she played Anamaria, a female pirate who signs up to join Will Turner and Mr. Gibbs for a chance to confront Jack Sparrow for stealing her ship. As to why she never appeared in any further films in the franchise, Saldana revealed that she almost quit acting following “disrespectful treatment” on set of the film. She then appeared in The Terminal as Dolores Torres, an immigration officer and Star Trek fan, a role that would later help Saldana when she came to appear in J. J. Abrams‘ 2009 film Star Trek. In 2004 she also made appearances in Haven and Temptation, both of which had little to no box office success.
In 2005, Saldana appeared in Constellation, Guess Who with Ashton Kutcher, and Dirty Deeds. She then starred in the romantic comedy-dramas Premium in 2006 and After Sex in 2007. The same year Saldana starred in Blackout, a television film set in New York City during the Northeast Blackout of 2003. The film premiered at the 2007 Zurich Film Festival and debuted on BET in 2008. Saldana also had a small role as Angie Jones in the 2008 box office smash Vantage Point.
Breakthrough and success
Saldana appeared in two high-profile roles in 2009, which both went on to raise her profile considerably. She played Nyota Uhura in the film reboot Star Trek, The films director J. J. Abrams asked Saldana to play the role because he had seen her previous work and liked it. Saldana had never seen the original series, though she had played a Trekkie in The Terminal (2004), but agreed to play the role after Abrams complimented her. She met with Nichelle Nichols, who explained to her how she had created Uhura’s background and named the character. Saldana’s mother was a Star Trek fan and sent her voice mails during filming, giving advice on the role. Coincidentally, it was Steven Spielberg who taught her the Vulcan salute five years earlier when he directed her in The Terminal. The film was a huge box office success grossing $385.7 million.
Saldana’s second high profile film on 2009 was James Cameron‘s Avatar, in which she starred as the alien huntress Neytiri. The film was premiered by 20th Century Fox in London on December 10, and was released in the United States and Canada on December 18, grossing $27 million on its opening day and $77 million during its opening weekend in 3,461 theaters, ranking number one at the box office. Avatar grossed $2.7 billion worldwide, to become the highest-grossing film of all time, as well as in the United States and Canada. It also became the first film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide. Avatar was well-received and accumulated an approval rating of 83% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The film was nominated for ten Saturn Awards and won all ten at the 36th Saturn Awards ceremony. Saldana’s Saturn Award for Best Actress win marked a rare occurrence for an all-CG character.
In 2013, Saldana reprised her role as Uhura in Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to the 2009 Star Trek. Like the previous film, it was a box office success ending its North American theatrical run with a box office total of $228,778,661, placing it as the 11th highest-grossing film for 2013. It also earned $467,365,246 worldwide, ranking it in 14th place for 2013 and making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise. Saldana also voiced her character in the 2013 release of the Star Trek video game.
In 2014, Saldana played Gamora in the hit film Guardians of the Galaxy, Saldana said that she became Gamora through make-up rather than computer generated imagery (CGI) or performance capture. The film became the third highest-grossing film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, behind The Avengers and Iron Man 3. It was the third highest-grossing 2014 film (behind Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies) and the highest-grossing superhero film of 2014. In May 2014, she starred in Rosemary’s Baby, a television miniseries adaptation of Ira Levin‘s best-selling horror novel. Saldana also co-produced the four-hour, two-part show.
Recent and upcoming projects
Saldana will star in Nina, an upcoming biopic about the jazz musician Nina Simone set to be released in 2015. The film depicts the late singer’s rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson. Saldana will also reprise her role of Neytiri in Avatar 2 in 2017. A sequel to her 2011 film Colombiana is in development but her reprisal of the role has not been confirmed. She will also reprise her role as Gamora in the Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel to be released in May 2017.