Zoe Saldana: Hispanic Heritage Month Actor Highlights

She's the megastar who's been in "Star Trek," "Avatar," and "Guardians of the Galaxy." Today, we're celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with actress Zoe Saldana.

Jesse Conner

By Jesse Conner

Zoe Saldana: Hispanic Heritage Month Actor Highlights

© Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

This Dominican and Puerto Rican actress has been in three of the top five highest-grossing films of all time. And she also stands tall as one of the highest-grossing actresses of all time. The box office superstar we highlight today for Hispanic Heritage Month is Zoe Saldana.

How You Know Her

Saldana was certainly considered a well-known actress following her roles in 2009 as Nyota Uhura in "Star Trek" and as Neytiri in "Avatar." But the majority of fans probably know her as the unsentimental assassin-turned-hero Gamora from 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy." After her iconic green character joined the MCU, she reprised her role in three additional films, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," "Avengers: Infinity War," and "Avengers: Endgame." Certain events that occurred within the MCU even made us believe that Saldana's Gamora was gone forever. But she miraculously made her way back with the help of some Infinity Stone magic.

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

© Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Her Life So Far

Zoe Saldana was brought up bilingual. She learned how to speak both English and Spanish. Most of her childhood was spent in Jackson Heights, New York. Her mother brought her and her sisters to the Dominican Republic due to their father passing away when she was roughly 9 years old. Her father was Dominican, and her mother is Puerto Rican. She's actually 3/4 Dominican and 1/4 Puerto Rican. The Dominican Republic is where Saldana found her love of dance.

In 1995, Saldana started getting into acting when she performed with the Faces theater group in Brooklyn. In 2000, Saldana's dance training and acting experience helped her book her first film role as a ballet student in "Center Stage." She nabbed her first big-budget film role in 2003 as Anamaria in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl."

© Walt Disney/courtesy Everett Collection

© Walt Disney/courtesy Everett Collection

After booking some more decent roles, she hit the mother lode earning her roles in "Star Trek" and "Avatar" in the same year! After becoming a name to recognize, she was later given her role in "Guardians of the Galaxy." With three major franchises that have plans to continue to churn out films, Saldana's future is still looking very bright.

The Movie to See

It's not often that we find any actor or actress with so many iconic films. It's difficult for us to recommend which one of her flicks deserves the spotlight more. But in this case, we're going to let the box office speak for itself. Of all of Saldana's films, the movie you NEED to see, if you haven't already, is "Avatar." This film won three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. And it's currently the highest-grossing movie of all time. Its cumulative worldwide tally is $2.8 billion.

The epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron is one that changed the game at the time of its release with its use of ground-breaking motion capture animation technologies. Cameron created an entire world within a film, and it was so popular he signed a contract with 20th Century Fox to direct four sequels. Check out the trailer for the first "Avatar" film below.

Avatar Poster

Avatar

PG-13

Action

December 18, 2009

Watch on

What's Up Next

Though we equally appreciate every actor we've celebrated for Hispanic Heritage Month so far, the projects that Zoe Saldana has ahead are ones we're particularly excited about. For starters as we mentioned above, she's signed up to do four more "Avatar" movies (!) "Avatar 2" is set for Dec 16, 2022 and "Avatar 3" is set for Dec 20, 2024. Both of those flicks are already in post-production. "Avatar 4" is set for Dec 18, 2026 and "Avatar 5" is set for Dec 22, 2028. And they're currently being filmed.

In 2022, she'll be starring in "The Adam Project" with Ryan Reynolds and an untitled David O. Russell project.

In 2023, she'll be gearing up again as Gamora in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." And she's also rumored to be returning for the untitled Star Trek sequel.

It's pretty safe to say she won't need to worry about work for at least the next decade.

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Jesse Conner

Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.

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