Since the huge success of Avatar, Zoe Saldana isn’t feeling so blue anymore. We grill her about new movie ‘The Losers’
She has ascended to the very heights of Hollywood after securing roles in the James Cameron blockbuster and also in Star Trek, and now the intergalactic star, 31, hopes to continue her successful streak, playing mysterious agent Aisha al-Fadhil in the action movie The Losers.
Set in the Bolivian jungle, it’s a tale of double cross and revenge centered upon the members of an elite U.S. Special Forces unit sent into the Bolivian jungle on a search and destroy mission. They find themselves the target of a lethal betrayal and plan to even the score when they’re joined by Aisha, a beautiful operative with her own agenda.
Q: Tell us three exciting things we can expect from The ‘Losers’? ZS: “Well, it is a really light, humorous action movie that has a very good story, it is politically racy and it’s very witty and it is great fun.”
Q: Who do you play and what role does your character have in all of this? ZS: “I play Aisha, this person who appears out of nowhere. Just when they think there is no hope for them to find a way to get back home she makes them an offer that sounds too good to be true. But it’s also an offer they can’t refuse. They go ahead and take it but there’s a lot of mistrust from the beginning because you don’t know what this woman is hiding up her sleeve.”
Q: What made you want to take on the role? ZS: “Playing the only female – and a bad ass female – was very enticing to me.”
Q: What is it like being the only female in the cast? ZS: “I loved it. I don’t behave like the only woman. I don’t think like a woman sometimes. I’m like one of the guys.”
Q: So do you have a sailor’s mouth? ZS: “What, a potty mouth? Oh baby I’m from Queen’s New York! There’s no class here unless I purposely access it! But that was the beauty of it. I grew up as one of three sisters. My mom wanted to have boys – but she raised us to be independent and didn’t differentiate between being a woman or a man. We could be, well act, what we wanted to be.”
Q: Do you swear a lot then? ZS: “I don’t really use cussing while I’m mad. If anything, when I’m mad, I tend to spell out my curse words. It is more when something has really touched me. I’m more likely to say something like ‘That is so f***ing amazing.”
Q: You look like a legitimate female action hero because you are beautiful yet tough. ZS: “Thank you! It is tons of fun. Trust me, it is not as cute as it looks. It takes a lot of training. Especially when you know that you are the only girl in the cast. You have to come with it because if your colleagues are looking at you and you just wimp out saying ‘Oh I can’t do it, my nails are fragile’ or whatever, immediately they are like ‘OK, high maintenance on the set.”
Q: Do you enjoy all the training for the stunts? ZS: “Training for an action movie is definitely something that, in the last two years, I have been estranged from. So I think it is pretty awesome. We worked with the same stunt co-ordinator that I worked with on Avatar, so there was a sense of familiarity with the guy, who I happen to respect and love dearly. And he knows how my body operates so that was pretty cool. I do love it – as mad as it may sound to some.”
Q: Do you find the stunts hard? ZS: “It is exhausting. Sometimes you kind of ask yourself, I wonder if this is going to have any permanent damage on my elbow or my ankle and things like that. The reality is that it’s fun, it looks great, and it’s the least that I can do. We have very privileged professions and for three months, we get paid a lot of money to give the audience a really good adventure.”
Q: How are your thirties treating you? ZS: ” “I’m very accepting of my age. I like it. The thirties are great. It’s like notches on your belt: experience, wisdom, and a different kind of beauty. I have become comfortable in my skin. But with changes that are supposed to happen from now on I am going to try to do everything I can to keep this ass together for as long as I possibly can – without going against nature.”
Q: What do you do to relax? ZS: “I don’t often – I have a hyper personality. I don’t draw myself a bath with candles-I don’t get it.”
Q: Are you a fitness freak? ZS: “I wouldn’t say Im a fitness freak, no. But I do enjoy being fit and in tune with my body. But I always need someone to push me – a trainer – otherwise I just wouldn’t do it. I’m only human! I pig out on things like every other woman – but if I do I just make sure I eat healthy the next day.”
Q: You say you have always been a tomboy. Is it true you didn’t have a purse for ages? ZS: “It’s true. I used to carry round a wallet. Until one day my grandma came up to me and said ‘Zoe, can I have a word with you? My neighbours are saying you might be gay’. So I said ‘Why would they think that?’ and she replied ‘Because you only wear jeans, you carry round a wallet.’ I was 21 at the time.(Laughs)”
Q: How do you feel about sex scenes? ZS: “Basically there’s not enough sex in movies, that’s it. I’m trying to say it, people. I miss sex in movies because sex is natural, guns are not.”
Q: Is it true the director Sylvain White came after you for the role? ZS: “I think Sylvain really knew who he wanted and he went after each and every one of us. I feel really grateful because by the time we all had the wardrobe and the hair and the accessories on, you felt like everybody fitted their character so well.
Q: You shot a lot of the movie in Puerto Rico. Did you speak much Spanish on the set? ZS: “The rest of the actors – Jeffrey, Idris, Columbus and Chris – wanted to speak Spanish. Columbus and Chris came out speaking Spanish more than the older men.
Q: You can get into a lot of trouble in Puerto Rico! ZS: “We did get in real trouble in Puerto Rico (Laughs). You can because there are casinos, there’s rum, there is Sangria. Tons of Sangria!”
‘The Losers’ is now showing at Irish cinemas nationwide. Zoe also appears in ‘Death A Funeral’ opening on June 4th