Zoe Saldana currently stands as one of Hollywood’s most commercially successful actresses. However, the star recently detailed that it hasn’t been an easy road to the top. In fact, she claims that her race only made it harder for her to get her foot in the door.
The Avengers: Infinity War star recently told Porter Edit in an interview that she has had a tough time getting auditions, not because of her talent, but rather due to her race.
“I think it has a lot to do with race,” she said. “‘Color doesn’t sell’ – they hide behind that excuse. But in reality, if you are in a position of leadership, that means that you have the responsibility to guide the narrative and re-shape it and put it on the right track. When you’re not setting that trend, then you are no different than the shackles that are binding you.”
While the issue still persists well into the seniority of her career, she added that it was much tougher when she first started out in the business.
“Every time I read a script, even if it was a period piece, I read it thinking that I was going to go after the lead role,” she said. “It wasn’t until I would come across the introduction of a supporting ethnic role that I realized, ‘Oh.’ I wasn’t even allowed to try to get that main role, because they want to go ‘traditional’ on the part…. It was a very hard pill to swallow.”
She went on to add that while being told she “was not traditional American” was very hurtful, she still maintained a sense of pride in who she was and what she represented as a woman of color.
“I will never accept that I am not a traditional anything,” she said. “I come from where I come from, I can’t change that, and you come from where you come from. But if you tell me that where you come from is the only right place, and therefore I don’t fit that traditional mold, let’s just establish, very clearly, that you are the one who’s wrong. Because everything about me and where I come from is just as right.”
You can read her full cover story, here.