Many of us have been watching actress Zoe Saldana keep busy being the “It Girl” on screen since we were teenagers. She stepped her way into Nick Cannon’s heart as a sassy soror in the Dallas Austin-produced drama Drumline. She played a ballerina with a bad attitude in Center Stage after having a bit of dance training herself before even snagging the role. She even played an alien hunter in the James Cameron box office blockbuster Avatar. You probably even caught her coasting the cosmos, kicking ass and taking names in the recent Avengers: Infinity Wars reprising her Guardians Of The Galaxy role of “Gamora” opposite Chris Pratt. If you haven’t gotten the hint by now, just know that Saldana is nothing to play with when it comes to balancing her pretty with plenty of power in roles that frequently call for her to not just be eye-candy but kick butt as well.
Women’s Health recently caught up with the 39-year-old actress, wife and mother of three on set for the sequel to Avatar which she is currently shooting and she talked how she pushes through her action-packed days and still reserves enough energy to chase after her twin boys. Saldana says growth is what helps her get through the busiest of days:
“There’s this sense of responsibility to keep growing.”
“You sort of go, ‘I can’t drop the ball.’ So I’m always pushing really hard.”
The actress who formally took the last name of her husband, 39-year-old artist Marco Perego (for the record, he took her last name as is now known as “Marco Perego Saldana”) has been involved in everything from archery, martial arts and horseback riding to prepare for roles. The sole woman in a house of men with three-year-old twin boys, Cy and Bowie and one-year-old son, Zen, stresses that staying active is a lifestyle for her family, and she makes time to get her personal needs met despite her responsibilities. Her go-to activity to slow down? Yoga. Saldana shares an occasional sun salutation helps her center herself:
“I like feeling that I’m giving myself—my body, my spirit, my mind—the attention it needs.”
“I often take for granted how helpful stretching and breathing exercises are. Yoga reminds me to breathe and slow down.”
Saldana who recently was honored with her very own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, says regularly making time for intimacy with her body is important, something that she discovered as a dancer. She also says women shouldn’t be afraid to indulge themselves (she loves Italian food), a lesson she admits she’s just learning herself:
“I love having that kind of intimacy with my body and getting my body to do things I never thought I could do.”
“When I was younger, I was more strict. I felt I needed to control that part of my life in order to feel I was going to be successful at something—because we often equate success with our physical beauty. It’s so f-cked up!”
Although she admits her boys keep her on her toes, she refuses to fall into traditional roles that wives and mothers are often told they should have in the household. Saldana and her sons were recently featured in “Nice For What”, a summer anthem by rapper Drake that encourages women to be proud of their power and demand respect. Gender-equality is live and in full effect in the Saldana-Perego household:
“That ‘Mom’s the boss’ thing is not going to happen in our family, because that means he’s the fun one, the good guy, while I’m the disciplinarian.”
“I don’t want my kids to look at women like, ‘Oh, god, they’re so annoying! They always come with structure.’”
Saldana wants her boys to see women as equals when it comes to strength, intellect and other qualities so it’s no surprise she recently teamed up with her Marvel castmates Scarlett Johansson, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson and got the idea for a superhero movie with an all-female cast. Saldana says there’s real power that comes with women standing together:
“The energy came from connecting with each other, from being fearless and saying, ‘You know, we’re going to talk about what we truly feel,’ versus just staring each other down like we’ve always been encouraged to do as women.”
“And it is important that we have an all-female movie. Our girls need it. Our boys need it. We need it!”
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