Actress Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978. Born to a Puerto Rican mother and a Dominican father, she spent most of her childhood in the borough of Queens in New York City. When she was nine years old, after her father’s tragic death in a car accident, her mother moved her and her sisters back to the Dominican Republic. There, she took up ballet lessons and rose to prominence as a ballet dancer. After her sophomore year in high school, she returned to the United States to enroll in the Faces Theater Program.
While still training as an actor, she got her first screen role: a guest performance on an episode of Law & Order in 1999. The following year, she made her film debut, appearing in the film Center Stage as smart-mouthed dancer Eva. Here, her previous ballet training was put in the forefront. This led to roles in other films, such as Get Over It, Crossroads, Drumline, Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Terminal and Ways of the Flesh. Her performance in the 2005 romantic comedy Guess Who earned her nominations for a Black Reel Award and an NAACP Image Award.
Saldana then took a recurring role in the drama series Six Degrees, which revolves around six New York residents and their connections with one another, on accordance with the concept of six degrees of separation. Premiered in 2006, it suffered in the ratings and was cancelled twice until the last episodes were posted online. Most recently, she signed up for a role in the upcoming film Star Trek, whose events are set before those of the original television series. The film’s director, J.J. Abrams, liked her work and personally requested that she play the role of Enterprise communications officer Uhura.
Zoe Yadira Zaldana Nazario
When I go to the D.R., the press in Santo Domingo always asks, "?Que te consideras, dominicana o americana?" (What do you consider yourself, Dominican or American?) I don't understand it, and it's the same people asking the same question. So I say, time and time again, "Yo soy una mujer negra." ("I am a black woman.") [They go,] "Oh, no, tu eres triguenita." ("Oh no, you are 'dark skinned'") I'm like, "No! Let's get it straight, yo soy una mujer negra." ("I am a black woman.")
I am actually! I'm very proud to say I am a geek. But I'm kind of a cool geek. I grew up in a very sci-fi home so I've seen a lot of sci-fi movies, from Dune to Alien, 2001, ET, Batteries Not Included... All these films I go crazy for. But never Star Trek.
I tend to be very picky, so I look for the perfect man! So if Spock and Kirk can mix, they'd become my perfect man. That's the kind of guy I'd go for. I don't only go for muscles, I don't only go for brains. You just need to have a little bit of a bad boy and a geek and then you've got the perfect guy.