Best known for her role as a blue-skinned alien in Avatar, sexy Latina actress Zoe Saldana has been turning heads for years now. A look at a Zoe Saldana biography helps explain why this proud Latina woman is so comfortable—and successful—in her own skin.
Zoe Saldana Biography – Early Life
Zoe Saldana was born Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario in 1978 in Queens, New York to a Puerto Rican mother and a Dominican father. Her father died in a car crash when Zoe was 9. Zoe and her sisters grew up in Queens and in the Dominican Republic, so from an early age Zoe felt close to her roots.
Zoe Saldana studied ballet, jazz, and Latin dance in the Dominican Republic and performed in youth theatre groups in the US, which prepared her to land her first movie role in 2000.
Any Zoe Saldana biography would have to mention her big-screen debut in the move Center Stage. In this film, Zoe played a ballet dancer and allowed her natural dance talent to shine through.
After Center Stage’s release in 2000, Zoe Saldana appeared in several other movies, most notably in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, where she again played a very strong female character.
Zoe Saldana really catapulted into the public eye when she starred in James Cameron’s Avatar in 2009. As a self-professed sci fi fan, Saldana jumped at the chance to participate in this groundbreaking film set on an alien planet that looks a lot like the cloud forest in Costa Rica.
If you look for Zoe Saldana in Avatar you won’t see the face you expect—this movie was entirely digital. Saldana provided the movements that were used to animate the character of Neytiri, as well as the voice of this alluring alien princess.
The very same year, Saldana also appeared in another major sci fi blockbuster, Star Trek. She played Uhura, and this role really cemented her position in popular culture. Zoe Saldana started appearing in tons of magazine spreads and indulging her passion for fashion on the red carpet. She soon reprised the role of Uhura in the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.
Though in these films Saldana looked very glamorous with careful makeup, other Zoe Saldana movies show the actress in a more natural state.
Out of the Furnace in particular showed that Saldana can pull off a real life, girl next door look with very little makeup.
Zoe Saldana On Her Roots
Though still quite a young woman herself, Zoe Saldana has accomplished a great deal and already serves as a great role model for young Latinas.
In an interview with Latina magazine, Saldana discussed her Latina roots and heritage. Zoe’s mother inspired her by refusing to label or categorize her as Hispanic or black or even as a “mujer de color.” Whenever young Zoe would ask about her heritage, her mother would just say, “You’re Zoe. You’re my daughter.”
Today Zoe continues to feel very connected to her roots, including an obsession with her hair. She told InStyle magazine that hair is very important in her culture, and she has always been happy with the skin and hair she has. Zoe Saldana’s hair is very versatile and she looks fabulous no matter what she does with it.
Her stylists reveal that Saldana loves to participate in creating her looks for various red carpet events, and the star is so bold that she’d even start cutting her hair herself if an instinct told her to.
We’ll just have to wait and see how the rest of Zoe Saldana’s career plays out, and how the strong sense of self instilled in her by her Puerto Rican mom guides her along the way.