Zoe Saldana on Her Character Gamora and Empowering Women
Every time I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with Zoe Saldana she inspires me. During the Guardians Secret Set Visit trip, she shared great tips about marriage. I couldn’t wait to be able to share her inspiring words with my readers. This trip she talked about her character Gamora and empowering women.
Zoe walked in the room with a big smile on her face ready to sit and talk with us ladies about the film. She sat down and we jumped right in asking about her feelings about the backstory of Gamora and Nebula coming out in Vol. 2.
I loved it. I was very excited, there were three female, you know, characters in this movie, and they all were going to provide, three different essences, you know? Like Mantis just resembles such an innocent creature, and Nebula’s so angry. Shit, she’s so angry. And Gamora is so like, maternal. You know, like, she’s turned over this new leaf. In the first movie, she was so selfish. It was about getting away, and running away from her father.
And now it’s about keeping this family together, you know, and keeping them always on track. So she went the opposite of who she was in the first movie.
Since she mentioned her character’s maternal sized it was only natural to ask if she pulled from her own maternal instincts and life for motivation while filming.
No, I never looked at any of them and thought, oh, these are like my kids. I tried but I’m the middle child of three sisters, so I was never the Gamora. Like, my sister Marielle is more the Gamora. Like, she keeps us on track and everything. I was always the fuck up. I was always the one, it’s like, Zoe, focus, focus, I’m like, squirrel! ‘Cause middle kids are sort of, I don’t know, it’s the title that they give you. You don’t take any responsibility, you don’t finish what you start, and you never obey your parents, you know? So, that was me. And, so channeling something in Gamora, I think I was just thinking about my sister.
About the responsibility that she must’ve put upon herself to help my mom raise Cicely and I, my younger sister and I.
During my first interview with Zoe, she talked about how much she enjoyed being able to empower women. She was so excited when she walked in the room with us, it’s one of the first things she said was how much she loves getting to sit with all the mom bloggers and how she just love talking with other women. We asked her how much she loved being able to bring that character strength.
I love it. I do. But I would like to take a break from playing kick ass science fiction females. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years, I’m kind of tired. But growing up, when I was little, I only had two icons that I can reference, and I would watch their, I’d watch those movies until my tape would break. And it was Ellen Ripley from Aliens, and it was Sarah Connor from Terminator. And I would watch these movies endlessly. And then it was like, Jamie Lee Curtis, when Katherine Bigelow did that movie, Blue Steel, and James Cameron also did that movie, True Lies, like, I had her as a reference. But other than that, I was always like, watching action movies told through the eyes of males and stuff, but always feeling that gap, that void, you know?
And I feel like I did take it upon myself to just be happy with the fact that I took a gamble on these movies for a first time, they ended up being super special, and they went into, into sequels. I didn’t think of this, trust me. It was not my idea. And I just, I had my responsibility to fulfill them. But once I was there, I didn’t want to be better about it. I wanted to acknowledge that maybe, maybe it means something. Maybe it is important that I’m a part of those women that are filling in that gap, so that women can have, I don’t know, more options, more references to look into.
Next we talked about what she wanted little girls to take away from the character Gamora when they see the film. She’s such a strong and independent character there are a few traits for girls to admire in her.
I think that it’s okay to still be vulnerable, and be strong, you know? I think that for some reason, we take it upon ourselves, or where we’re told, that, in, you have, you have to be one thing or the other. And I think that vulnerability is strength, and being strong that means that you have to be vulnerable.
So, I hope young women take that ’cause Gamora, I don’t see Gamora as a strong character. You know, like, I see her as someone that’s tired. Annoyed. And, but she’s very vulnerable.
We talked about the makeup process and how long it take Zoe to transform to Gamora. She said it’s about four hours. We wanted to know how she passes the time during the process.
I talk in every language. I turn on music. I’m on my phone. I FaceTime with my kids, I FaceTime whoever’s up. Like New York is up, DR is up, what’s up, la, la, land. I’m talking to myself. Sometimes I would see them, like, putting the TV on super high, to see if I would just get the picture and just shut the fuck up.
‘Cause I’d be [INAUDIBLE] from 2:30 in the morning until the time I get to set, I talk to everybody. But I’m just one of those, like, mom-a-la’s. Like, I’m just an old lady. I just talk, you know?
Zoe shared with us about her process on set with stunts. She’s in amazing shape and we all thought she was doing the stunts in the movie.
Her name is Leanne, she’s phenomenal. And she really did all the parts where Gamora looks absolutely unbelievably, just cool, that’s Leanne. And all the parts where I’m posing, and taking out my sword and stuff, that’s me. But I did do a lot of those jumps. And I would so a lot of the stunts that she would do, but like, the PG-13 version.
Because, one, I can’t do them. And two, it’s a liability to the film if I get killed or something. I posted something on Instagram. There is a jump that I did. They made me jump from like, three stories or something, its a 30 foot jump? Yeah.
And I was on wires, but I don’t know, I still can’t remember if somebody told me, and I just brain farted, or somebody forgot to tell me that I was going to free fall. I was not going to feel the tension on the wires. So when they said action, and I jumped, ’cause obviously I don’t like to take my time, ’cause there’s so many men watching you. I jumped, and thought I was dying. Forgot to speak English, I was like, help me!
And then James Gunn was like, yeah, your face was kind of awful there, you have to do it again. And I was just like, oh my god. So I did it again. And then, you guys can watch it, I mean, it’s on Instagram. But as soon as I land, I was like, I don’t want to do this again. Like, the girly girl came out of me.
In one of our earlier interviews, Karen Gilman shared with us that Zoe helped her while they were on set, with her character and playing the role. We asked Zoe how was it working with Karen on their intense scenes for the film.
I don’t have to give Karen any tips on performances. Karen’s a bad ass. This girl is like the Hulk. In acting. Literally, Karen, she’s like Bruce, like Mark Ruffalo, like, oh, hi. And then when she turns into the Hulk, she transforms into this character, you forget that Karen was in the building. ‘Cause she just turns into Nebula, and she’s menacing and everything. So in terms of stunts I’m like, baby girl, you gotta stand, you can’t walk like that.
I don’t think she’s ever been to a gym, still, to this day. And, I was just like, with your permission, I love you, and I’m here to help. And she was like, please help me. I’m like, then don’t run like that. I’m like, keep up, keep up. I’m like, heel, toe, heel, toe. And then we laugh it out all the time. But I did also tell her, and James reiterated, that whenever she did not feel comfortable, she has nothing to prove to anybody, so she can always sit it out. And she did. She pled the fifth? She’s like, I’m going to sit this one out. And she would always pick her battles. But she did a lot more stunts in this movie than I thought she would. And we were very impressed.
I promised to keep this spoiler free, especially since the film hasn’t been released yet. We did get some tea from Zoe on Gamora and Peter Quill’s relationship. I’m keeping it under wraps but I will share some of what she shared about the pair in this movie.
So, Gamora and Quill are, they’re best friends. The bond that they have is so spiritually and dynamic, you have to be careful not to ruin it. So, I feel like it lives better, and it’s stronger, in the way that they communicate, and the way that they counsel each other, and the way that they think and protect each other. And then the way that they cover up for each other. So, they really have a relationship, that when everybody goes to sleep, they’re up, and they’re talking. And that kind of transpired in the way that James Gunn designed our relationship to unfold in this movie
About Guardians of the Galaxy:
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.