Conversation with . . . Zoe Saldana!

6 05 2009

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With the release of the highly anticipated summer blockbuster, “Star Trek, Dominican seductress Zoe Saldana is poised to take her skyrocketing career to the next level. The only member of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s “Boys Club” sits down with Damien Smith to talk about her involvement in the film.

Coming into the film, I was very skeptical to see how they were going to rejuvenate the “Star Trek” franchise. I am a lifelong Trekkie and did not want the franchise to be tarnished with over used special affects and a weak story line.

With Warp 9 speed, all of my apprehensions were put to rest when I caught an advance screening of the film.

“Star Trek” is an adrenaline fueled film that seamlessly intertwines original characters with new special effects technologies, and a well thought out story line. The film relays heavily on the relationships of its crew members, and the surrounding circumstances that brought them all together. With all assembly cast each character is vital with the captain being the leader in this situation.

Smith was able to sit down with one of Star Trek’s most vital cast members of the Enterprise, Communications Officer Uhura. Played by Nichelle Nichols on the original franchise, the character was the first major African-American character on TV. In this latest film, Uhura is now played by the lovely and talented Zoe Saldana.

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How was it being the only woman with all the guys of the Enterprise?

Zoe Saldana: I loved it. Uhura was very comfortable in this environment. She needed to be that way so she could hold court and be effective in that environment and get her job done. It gives you the ability to be completely androgynous.

Did you watch the original Star Trek series?

ZS: I did not see the series. As actors we are prone to imitation and I was very, very afraid to falling into that pattern because Nichelle (Nichols) did not deserve that, and Uhura deserves better. I do know that by trusting J.J. Abrams, that whatever he says he’ll actually get done, and he always takes care of his characters. As an actor that is one of the warmest sensations to feel. There where fundamental things about Uhura that was written into the script, and he definitely helped me if I was not capturing enough. I definitely wanted to come in with a clean slate with her because she was young, and she is not this confident woman who has it all together most of the time she is a kid, she’s infatuated. Spock tells her immediately to translate this frequency and she blanks out.

What did you think of Uhura’s relationship with Spock?

Zoe: They locked us in the office at Bad Robot, so that we could read the script, and I dropped it and grabbed my Blackberry and kept saying, “This man’s crazy! J.J.’s out of his mind. I’m not that aware about Star Trek, but I do know that they never mingled. It’s crazy!” And then, once I finished the script, it just made so much sense. They have the most similar characteristics. I almost feel like she had this admiration for Spock because he was older and sort of like a teacher, and there was this crush or platonic infatuation with someone that’s wiser, wittier, handsome and had pointy ears. Why not?

Did you talk to Nichelle Nichols?

ZS: I did speak with Nichelle, a couple of times, and the response was completely overwhelming. We felt completely supported, and the pressure was just removed, the moment Mr. Nimoy stepped on set. I was able to meet Nichelle, and there was this overall happiness and excitement that Star Trek was coming back and that we were stepping into the family. It made it much easier for us to approach these characters, not only remembering the fundamental essences of all of them, but also not being afraid to add any innovation. That’s where J.J. comes in. I thought it was incredibly witty, on his behalf, to make it the beginning and show them as young people that are not comfortable in their own skin. They’re meeting for the first time and they’re starting off with a clean palette. You know that they need to end up the way that they are in the series, but it’s completely different. They could be lost, they could be found, they could have all these relationships, and battles within themselves and each other, and they’re still going to complete these missions on the Enterprise. So, sometimes knowing the end can give you a better perspective on where to start.

Click here to read the rest of the Saldana interview.

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2 responses

6 05 2009
g

Check out the new Nichelle Nichols movie coming in the fall of 2009:

http://thetorturer.com

A Military Interrogator Returns from Iraq with Acute Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

7 05 2009
Melina Kanakaredes

[…] Conversations with . . . Zoe Saldana! « FilmGordon […]

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