Zoe Saldana wants to be more than a green princess

Zoe Saldana wants to be more than a green princess
Zoe Saldana is all smiles at the thought of being green. Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Zoe Saldana on becoming Gamora and working with James Gunn
Published: 4:03 AM, July 21, 2014
Updated: 12:27 PM, July 21, 2014

SINGAPORE — “I don’t agree with Kermit,” stated Zoe Saldana matter-of-factly, disagreeing with the famous frog who sang about how tough it was being green.

The actress might have endured hours in the make-up chair to turn herself green for her role as Gamora in Marvel’s outer space epic, Guardians Of The Galaxy, but for her, it’s great, given the company she was in: Blue-skinned Karen Gillan (Nebula, Gamora’s step sister) and a gray-skinned Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer) were among many others who were also confined to the chair.

“I just like how funny we all looked knowing that we were doing a space movie,” mused Saldana. “Meanwhile, we’re having a latte or Dave Bautista’s always eating. And Chris (Pratt, who plays Star-Lord) was always singing country music. I just remember feeling so green and looking at Dave Bautista and Karen and hearing Chris’ voice singing some country music — I’m like, this is a great way to spend your summer.”

Guardians marks yet another science-fiction movie for Saldana, after appearing in Avatar and the Star Trek reboot. One reason that she turned herself entirely green was the chance to work with director James Gunn.

“James Gunn offered me the part, he said I was his only choice,” said Saldana. “I read the script, I saw his work and I love Slither — it’s such an ’80s film, such a cult-y movie, and I’m a kid of the ’80s ... and the ’90s, I’m not that old.”

Still, she needed a bit more convincing, and together with Gunn and Avengers director Joss Whedon, she helped make sure Gamora wasn’t just decorative.

“I was definitely open about Gamoraneeding more substance,” said Saldana. “When I did read the script, one of the first drafts, she was just eye candy.”

“I didn’t want that,” she added. “It’s important for me to leave a trail of substantial things that young women can be inspired by. My niece is 11 years old, and I don’t want her to grow up just wanting to be a princess.”

“I want her to grow to be a king.” Alvin Chong