Zoe Saldana delved into some complex, serious topics in the interview for her Allure cover story, and we are so glad she did.
Sexism in Hollywood? Yep, she went there, discussing how her male co-stars are showered with outrageous perks like luxury trailers and access to private jets, but her request for a babysitter was initially scoffed at by studios. “The tone changed in the negotiations,” she said. “I was starting to feel that I was . . . difficult. [Babysitting was] considered a perk. No. This is a necessity that you must cover for me in order for me to go and perform my job.”
What bothered her most about the situation was that it wasn’t just men conveying this attitude. “The fact that there are women working in these studios—and they’re the ones [enforcing] these man-made rules. When are we going to learn to stick together?”
On the bright side, she found an amazing level of support and solidarity among her fellow actresses, especially when she got pregnant.
A photo posted by Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) on
One incredible show of support came from Jessica Alba, she said:
“I got an email from Jessica Alba—who I only know from conversations in the bathroom at events—saying, ‘Hey, congratulations. This is my to-do list of how I did things. Maybe there will be something you can use.’ That love and support from the network of women around you… I get emotional because if we continue to do that, we will be unstoppable. As opposed to nitpicking at each other for arbitrary things such as weight and hair color and purses. It’s such fucking minutiae when there are bigger issues that we have to be talking about, like equal pay and equal rights.”
Another big issue that’s grabbed headlines lately? The uproar over Zoe being cast to play Nina Simone in the biopic Nina. Many people — including Nina Simone’s estate — objected to Zoe, who has relatively light skin and delicate features, playing the darker-skinned singer.
“There’s no one way to be black,” she told Allure, in response to the criticism. “I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.”
According to Zoe, the controversy surrounding her casting overshadowed a much more important victory: that Nina’s movie got made at all.
“I made a choice,” she says. “Do I continue passing on the script and hope that the ‘right’ black person will do it, or do I say, ‘You know what? Whatever consequences this may bring about, my casting is nothing in comparison to the fact that this story must be told.'”
There’s so much food for thought here and we’re so happy Zoe Saldana shared it.