I participated in the Press Junket and #GuardiansofTheGalaxyEvent thanks to Marvel/Disney. Opinions are my own.
Zoe Saldana walked into the room and had such a presence about about her. Not only because of her beauty, but because you could tell that she was such a strong woman and had such grace. Her smile lit up the room and I could not wait to learn more about her and her character Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy.
What was it like the first time you saw yourself in costume?
It was interesting. At first they wanted me to wear contacts. The idea of wearing contacts was fine but I just heard all these stories about and wearing them for 5 months, 6 days a week, so I encouraged them not to use contacts for my character. You’re able to connect more with your own eyes. For some reason contact lenses are not as penetrable as your own eyes.
How long was the makeup process for your character?
4½ to 5 hours. Karen wanted to shave her head for her character Nebula, so I can’t complain. I only complained with my Makeup Artist in my trailer or to my husband at home. There was green everywhere. On the pillow and in the tub. My dog was even green. It was crazy.
What was your inspiration for Gamora?
I thought, “Okay how am I going to make this character different from all the other action characters that I’ve done before?” My husband’s an Artist and we were meeting with a colleague of his who was sharing with us her latest work. It was a piece that she shot 65 frames per second of this Spanish Bull Fighter fighting in front of a Picasso painting. The bull fighter danced after making the Bull basically run to his death. I thought that’s Gamora and she’s a Bull Fighter. She’s not going to be a martial artist. She’s going to fend and be a very graceful sword fighter.
I also thought, she’s an orphan and was taken from her planet. This reminded me of The Lost Boys of Sudan, children that were taken and forced into a life of crime and violence. Deep, deep they’re good people. They were meant for greatness and their path was just completely erased before it even began. And I thought well that’s Gamora. She’s just trying to give herself a last chance of life to get out.
Did you read comics growing up?
I would watch them whenever they were on TV. I used to watch He-Man and She-Ra and The Thunder Cats. I loved the Thunder Cats. My sisters and I would have fist fight over who was going to be She-Ra. “I’m She-Ra, no I’m She-Ra!” I never had an interest for reading them, but I loved watching them.
My nephew was my teacher for Gamora. He was like, “Do you even know who you’re playing?’ “She’s green you know.” And he told me she was taken from her planet and was forced into a life of crime. And I’m like, “Yeah she’s bad ass.” He said, “She’s not a bad ass, she’s an assassin.”
How much of the stunts were you vs. a double?
About 50/50. There was a scene that Gamora had to jump from the 4th story. I thought, no, no! Let my double do it. Her name is Chloe, and she was fabulous. You can actually see her on You Tube. Her kicks are amazing. I knew that Gamora was in good hands.
How do you choose the projects you get involved in?
The script, the filmmaker,and my character. My character needs to feel relevant. If I feel like, she’s just there and doesn’t participate in the problem solving of plot, then they really don’t want me on their team because I’m not gonna’ be happy. I’ve been in those situations where as an individual, as an Artist, as a woman, you don’t feel relevant and it doesn’t feel good.
I spoke to James Gunn when I read the script and liked the idea of the concept of doing a Marvel movie and working with him, but I was not that excited about the script from Gamora’s standpoint. You want me in every scene, but I don’t speak in any of them. So what am I going to do? I’m going to be there for 6 months, go through 5 hours of make up every day, 6 days a week, to just be a fly on the wall in every scene? I’m like, “No baby that’s not gonna’ happen.” And I told him, “We need to work on this.” This woman you want in every scene, if she knows what this orb is and she’s the one that knows who the collector is and she’s the one that ties all these people together, then you need to give her a couple of lines every now and then. And he was like, “Zoe we’re on the same page, that’s what we’re doing.” James kept his word, he was very outspoken and Marvel really had such a respect for him. Marvel and Disney were great with this movie.
I really want to add in her favorite scene from the film, but am going to have to do that after the release. I do not want to give any spoilers!
Watch Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy August 1, 2014!
Connect with Guardians of the Galaxy