“Filmmakers see me as a winning horse to stake their fortunes on”

The actress who brought Gamora to life in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ premieres ‘Special Ops: Lioness’, a spy thriller where she shares the screen with Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman.

Although zoe saldana (New Jersey, 1978) hates being late, sometimes life gets to him. Like everyone else. New York traffic prevents him from appearing on time to the European journalists, who are waiting for him with dinner on the table. Forced to delay the appointment for over an hour, she apologizes when she arrives, wearing a clear face of circumstances on the other side of the Zoom. Without losing the smile, yes.

Saldana, a Dominican-American actress, is one of its protagonists Special Ops: LionessThe eight-episode series created by Taylor Sheridan – The Mind Behind yellowstone– which will premiere this October 30 on Skyshowtime. Based on a real United States military program, it tells the story of a young Cruz Manuelos (Lesla de Oliveira). marine Jo joins the Lioness engagement team led by Caitlin (nicole kidman), with the aim of infiltrating a terrorist organization and destroying it to prevent the next 9/11. Saldana’s challenge is to play Jo in this spy thriller that has very, very little to do with her latest work Mainstream: Pirates of the Caribbean, star trek, Guardians of the Galaxy And Avatar, There is nothing there.

A detective series with a female leader. This shouldn’t be surprising or disruptive in 2023, and yet it’s being sold as if it is…
I think it’s special that we see series and movies like this. We hear stories told from the male perspective all the time and now it’s time to expose the women who serve in these secret military programs. They are extraordinary women with extraordinary stories. It’s true that it’s now seen as something special, but we’re working to foster a future in which it’s normal, right? And for that to happen I think we need to continue to give platforms and outlets to people like Taylor Sheridan who write good content, honestly. It doesn’t matter whether they are male or female.
Did you do any special training to prepare for the series?
There was no physical training of any kind because they did not consider it necessary. Which runs the US military program for Nicole Kidman’s character Caitlin, the CIA’s mainstay in the war on terrorism. But who does not work in the field holding a gun all the time. He has done this before and perhaps we will see more of it in the coming seasons. But it wants to introduce the Lioness program and take a deeper look at what goes on in those secret programs that actually exist. However, the training I received was intellectual: I did a lot of research into the world of espionage. I watched documentaries, interviewed people who had worked in such programs, talked to trainers and military veterans… I heard podcast, I read many books. I watched several movies that reminded me of this story. I wanted to know what these people were really like, because they are portrayed as calculating and manipulative. He has to keep a poker face all the time, and I have a hard time not showing my emotions. Now that was a challenge.
What attracted you most about the proposal?
The reason I said yes to this project is because in every episode, Taylor (Sheridan) kept the action moving. Not once do any of the female characters explain, apologize, or justify their position of power over the men. That combination of strength and leadership excited me and reassured me that the story would work. It was not about portraying women as superior to men; In fact, they are not shown as suffering or weak beings. Taylor just wanted to tell the story of those who serve in our country’s military.
What was it like sharing this project with big stars like Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman?
Sometimes I think I’m trying to keep from crying because, you know… (laughs). I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable, but now that they’re not in front of me I can talk about them behind their back. They are extraordinary. He had a huge influence on my life and I admire him for a million reasons. He starred in stories that enthralled me when I was young. Moulin Rouge, eyes wide Shut, life imprisonment…I can tell the names of the films by tomorrow. It was a wonderful experience for me to sit across the table with these artists. It was a lesson in humility. I felt very honored but, most of the time, I was completely by myself.
And working with Kidman not only in front of the camera, but also behind the scenes as a producer?
Wonderful. Nicole and I probably talk once or twice a week. As the series premiere approached, we kept in touch as we received each episode. We watched it, took notes, sent them to Paramount and 101… the whole team did a fantastic job, they’re excited about it show, And it’s fantastic. Nicole is fantastic to work with as a producer. I’ve learned a lot from her: she’s a fantastic person, she pays attention to all the details. He is an artist at heart, so when we speak we speak honestly, but also impartially. We are clear about our objectives and mission. For example, the series was called Lioness In the beginning and suddenly the title changed Special Ops: Lioness. And we had endless conversations with Paramount and 101, who told us in detail why this change matters show, Nicole and I lived through it all together. It’s very inspiring to work with them, to be their partner and to have so much respect and so much room for collaboration.

Zoe (Zoe Saldana) in a scene from ‘Special Ops: Lioness’. skyshowtime

The daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and a Dominican father, Saldana spent most of her childhood in the neighborhood queensIn New York, When he was nine, his family moved Dominican Republic, Once there, she started taking ballet, jazz and modern dance classes at one of the best dance schools in the country. An actress by profession, when she returned to Queens after seven years, the first thing she did was join a theater group. face’s, an organization that performed social theater plays for teenagers with messages about domestic violence, substance abuse or sexual promiscuity. After going through many times when I was 17 years old Castings, the first desirable roles began to appear on stages and screens; He debuted in an episode of Law Aired on American television in 1999.

in 2014, zoe saldana was recognized by the magazine Eli during the awards women in hollywood awards For his achievements in all aspects of the film industry: acting, directing and producing. The only controversy in his career came a few years later, when he acted in little girlAdaptation of an unauthorized biography about a jazz singer Nina Simone, The film chronicles the late artist’s rise to fame and his relationship with his manager Clifton Henderson. Simone’s family strongly criticized the decision to cast her in the role and in August 2020, Saldana was forced to apologize for daring to take on the challenge: “I’m very sorry. Today I realize that I Did this wrong. Neena is one of our giants and another must step forward. Someone else must tell her story the right way,’ he said publicly.

How does it feel to be Hollywood’s most profitable action girl and to be directed by French director Jacques Audiard in your next film? Emilia Perez,
Working with Jax and working for Jax has been on my bucket list since my days in New York. Go to Angelika Theater and watch movies like my heart has stopped beating one of two of rust and bone And think “Oh my God, what an amazing storyteller he is!” So, when they invited me to join this story, it was a dream come true for me. To answer your question… I don’t know what it means to be profitable. I never planned anything like this, I listened to my heart. The filmmakers have chosen me and I feel very lucky. I think they see me as a winning horse enough to bet on me. Maybe that’s why Taylor called me. But I am not arrogant. I work extremely hard and want to work extremely hard. I have great hope. So when I like a project, I put all my hopes in it. Like in this series. However, I think that if it is successful, it will not be because of me, but because of Nicole.
Not even for Taylor Sheridan?
I mean, Taylor doesn’t need more success. It’s already too big. Well, Nicole too. But most of all, I think it will be successful because it will reach the real women who serve in the military in these secret military programs. I’m glad because her story is going to be told. We’re celebrating them and thanking them for their service. I think that’s extremely important: Maybe somewhere there will be a little girl who will watch this show and be inspired by these women. We actresses have that power. So I think when you say no to a film directed by women, you’re saying no to another woman. The audience is another huge strength, especially in countries like the United States, where there is so much diversity. You have to support these stories. If you like them of course, because art is subjective.
Jump from the Marvel universe, specifically from the saga Guardians of the Galaxystill thriller Of espionage. What do Gamora and Joe have in common?
Nothing. Some people may say that I always play difficult characters, but I don’t see it that way. Gamora wasn’t a difficult character: she grew up with a father who was horrible and as a result, she had to become strong, doing whatever it took to survive, bullying her little sister and getting in her way. Killing anyone with. Everything is broken in Gamora. I saw his humanity. Their faults. Your strength. All women are like this. Even a three year old girl is powerful. There is nothing special about women; We are surrounded by strong women, it is one of our main traits, part of our biology. On the other hand, Joe is a woman who is under a lot of stress. He is dedicated to his team and his family. Moreover, above all, for your country. When you meet him and follow him through these eight episodes, you get butterflies in your stomach. I cared about her a lot because she really believes in what she does, she believes in what she loves, and that’s always hard. This was what I found most attractive about the character. It is not true that he knows how to hold a gun and stand up if he falls. It is true that he has to deal with a lot of responsibilities on a daily basis and he is still alive. Even better: stay alert. I saw a lot of myself in him and I liked him a lot.

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