Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Latinegr@s Project: Zoe Saldana

The last two profiles that I submitted for this project were of people who passed and while that is ok, I would like to show some Afro Latinos that are alive and well. I mentioned previously that media plays a pivotal role on how Latinos are portrayed. So, I decided to highlight one of the few Afro Latina making some waves in Hollywood at that would be Zoe Saldana.

Zoe Saldana was originally born as Zoe Yadira Zaldaña Nazario and is Puerto Rican and Dominican. After living in Queens for 10 years, her parents to decided to move the Dominican Republic where Zoe resided for seven years. During her time there, she was enrolled in to the ECOS Espacio de Danza Dance Academy, which a very prestigious dance school. She learned various forms of dance but specialized in Ballet.

Her family moved back to New York when she was 17. Her dancing skills caught her much attention when she became apart of the Faces theater troupe. Zoe was recruited by a talent agency that helped her land her first movie role in the film Centerstage (2000), where she played a head strong dancer Eva Rodriguez.

Since then she has landed a few roles in tv shows like Law and Order and starred in movies such as: Drumline, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Terminal, and Vantage Point (to name a few). However, her popularity skyrocketed when she starred in Star Trek as Nyota Uhura. This particular role landed her in the mainstream of Hollywood. The role that she is currently famous is Neytiri in the film Avatar, which is now the largest grossing film of all time.

I am impressed with her because she has not forgotten where she comes from. Looking back at some of her roles, she does play a Latina. It will be interesting to see what turns her career will make. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and I while I am quite certain you may never see her in a Novela, I would in fact like to see if she can incorporate her Puerto Rican/Dominican heritage in any of her future films.

As of this blog post she has 3 films in post production that are set to come out in 2010 and will soon be filming a sequal to Star Trek set to come out in 2012. Currently, Zoe is spending her efforts in raising money for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

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