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Zoe Saldana Would Love Sigourney's Sci-Fi Career

Zoe Saldana has gone from the bridge of the Enterprise in Star Trek to the strange blue world of Pandora in an even bigger sci-fi epic. In James Cameron's Avatar, Saldana plays the very tall blue warrior woman, Neytiri, who tries to protect her Na'vi people from unfriendly humans threatening their peaceful existence.

Parade.com's Jeanne Wolf found out why Saldana wouldn't mind following in co-star Sigourney Weaver's footsteps.

Who cares if she's done two sci-fi films back to back.
"I wouldn't mind doing a few more. Look what it did for Sigourney Weaver's career. That's a really great path to follow and she's a really good role model to have. I do wish there were more genres in which women could be presented as what we are -- complex creatures who can have journeys and be the heroes and save everything, and also be vulnerable and be saved. I wouldn't mind being in that category at all."

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No gender stereotypes.
"I find Jim Cameron's characters to be rather androgynous. With minor tweaks, each and every one of his female characters and male characters could be swapped. That's a testament to the kind of observer of life that he is. He's not a 'men are from Mars and women are from Venus' kind of guy. He's sensitive to the qualities that we all share."

One of the best things about her computer image.
"I thought Jim did a really good job of putting Neytiri together. I thanked him for making her look hot. I mean, Neytiri is very sexy and lean with a really cut bod. I'm in pretty good shape, but I don't look that buff."

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Nearly naked in Hawaii.
"It was the most physically demanding role I've ever done. I trained in everything from riding bareback and martial arts to archery. I was okay with almost all of it except our trip to Hawaii before filming to experience a tropical environment like Pandora. Jim made us live for three days without technology and a minimum of creature comforts while we went climbing and digging in the dirt. I was almost naked for three days and as muddy as a dead rat. I finally went, 'I can't deal with this' and Jim said, 'Oh, come on, Zoe, suck it up!'"

Speaking Na'vi.
"The Na'vi language was totally invented and we all had to learn it. I was worried at the beginning because I'm not good with languages, but it was tons of fun. My mom would look at me like I was crazy because I'd be at the dinner table slipping a little Na'vi into the conversation. It turned out to be easier because I speak Spanish and the sounds are very similar. The crew learned a little Na'vi too. They picked up 'skowng' which means moron. Needless to say, everyone had a little fun with that one."

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It was easier kissing Chris Pine in Star Trek than co-star Sam Worthington.
"We were doing performance capture for the computers, so Sam and I had on these helmets with a boom and a camera at the end of it and we would get tangled up before our lips could touch. Jim would yell, 'Cut. The actors are stuck again. Can't you guys be more careful?' We were like, 'Damn it. It's not that easy.' It was a riot and it was silly. Sometimes we'd just start laughing. The entire time we were all blushing. It was just like, 'Okay, this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever done.'"

As for the Oscar buzz.
"It would be amazing if we were nominated. But, I'm not going that far. I just want everybody to see Avatar and go to Pandora like I did. The Na'vi represent the kind of people that I guess that we all were once -- the kind of person that I would like to be when I grow up. They're so simple and innocent, with such a respect for the world in which they live. I kind of wish we would go back to that."


 
 
 
 

 

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