Zoe Saldana is an American actress. She had her breakthrough roles in the 2000 film "Center Stage" and the 2002 film "Crossroads." She later gained prominence for her roles as Anamaria in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," Uhura in the 2009 film "Star Trek" and its 2013 sequel "Star Trek into Darkness," and her motion capture work as Neytiri in James Cameron's "Avatar" and its upcoming sequels.
Saldana has often spoken of her pride in being from a Latin culture. Her first languages are English and Spanish. She spent the majority of her early childhood growing up in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. In the Dominican Republci, Saldaña discovered her love of dance and soon enrolled in the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy; she studied ballet, jazz and modern Latin dance.
In 1995, she began performing with the FACES theater group in Brooklyn, which put on plays geared toward providing positive messages for teens, via themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and adolescent sexuality. Her previous dance training, and her acting experience, helped her land her first film role, playing Eva, the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in the 2000 film "Center Stage."
She left school after "Center Stage," subsequently appearing in the Britney Spears vehicle "Crossroads" and the comedy-drama "Drumline." She played Anamaria, a female pirate who signs up to join Will Turner and Mr Gibbs for a chance to confront Jack Sparrow for stealing her ship in the 2003 film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." Saldana appeared in three films in 2004, including "The Terminal," "Haven" and "Temptation."
Saldana appeared in two high-profile roles in 2009: Uhura in the film reboot "Star Trek," and the alien huntress Neytiri in James Cameron's "Avatar," both of which raised her profile considerably.
In 2010, Saldana starred in "The Losers" in which she played Aisha al-Fadhil, for which she was required to gain weight, as she was expected to carry weapons around for eight hours a day. She also starred in the crime drama movie "Colombiana" as Cataleya Restrepo, a professional assassin. In 2012, she starred in the drama film "The Words." In 2015 she starred opposite Mark Ruffalo in the family dramedy, "Infinitely Polar Bear."
Saldana entered negotiations to star as Gamora in the 2014 film "Guardians of the Galaxy." In addition, she starred in the TV miniseries "Rosemary's Baby."
Saldana is a celebrity supporter of FINCA International, a microfinance organization.
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