Zoe Saldana is now one of the world’s leading actresses, with movies such as Colombiana taking the scene by storm and cementing her position as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses. However, like many other stars, her rise to the top wasn’t always comfortable or smooth.
In fact, there were times it was incredibly challenging, and Saldana thinks it was because of her race, or rather, her skin color.
The Avengers star said to reporters from Porter Edit recently that getting auditions was a challenge, and she “thinks it has a lot to do with race.”
Saldana admitted that Hollywood executives say that “color doesn’t sell,” as if it’s a legitimate excuse. But according to Zoe, if a producer or a casting agent doesn’t “lead the narrative,” then they are just as bad as the “shackles that are binding you.”
In other words, people who are complicit in a system characterized by “institutionalized racism,” are a part of its mechanisms. They are just as bad, despite not perpetrating racism directly.
Saldana said she always wanted to go for the leading female role, but it was difficult because they would cast a white woman, instead of her. The Avengers alum said it was a “tough pill to swallow,” knowing that her skin color held her back rather than a character flaw.
The actress went on to say that people told her she wasn’t a “traditional American,” meaning that she is an immigrant, rather than a native.
Zoe explained there is no such thing as a traditional “anything,” wherever she is from is ok. “Because everything about me and where I come from is just as right,” said the Colombiana star.