Zoe Saldaña is reflecting on the major tentpole projects that have helped define her career since the late 2000s.
During a recent interview with Women’s Wear Daily, the actress said that she is grateful for having been part of massive blockbusters but that they led her to feel “artistically stuck.” Saldaña, whose Netflix series From Scratch launched in October, stars as Neytiri in next month’s highly anticipated Avatar: The Way of Water and is set to reprise her role as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, due out in May.
“I feel that for the last 10 years of my life, I’ve been just stuck. I felt stuck doing these franchises,” the actress said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities that they provided, from collaborating with amazing directors and getting to meet cast members that I consider friends and getting to play a role that fans, especially children, love. But it also meant that I felt artistically stuck in my craft of not being able to expand or grow or challenge myself by playing different sorts of genres and different roles.”
Saldaña, who shares three children with her husband Marco Perego, pointed out that she has previously found herself wrestling with the pressure that Hollywood and society at large can put on women who have started a family and are in their 40s. However, she made it clear that she feels optimistic about what her career has in store as she moves forward.
“But today, now that I’m 44, I’ve been able to have these opportunities, and I took control over my aging and I took control over my voice and how I consider myself as a woman,” she continued. “And I’m so happy that I’m able to collaborate with filmmakers and producers and people in this industry that want that for women, that want women to be ageless and who don’t fetishize women’s youth. And so it’s interesting. It’s really interesting.”
Saldaña, who had an early-career turn in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, had a big 2009, starring as Uhura in Star Trek and then in Avatar, before her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut arrived five years later with the first Guardians of the Galaxy installment. The star has had a busy 2022 as well, having appeared in films The Adam Project and Amsterdam.