Not too long ago we attended a press conference for The Losers where the lovely Zoe Saldana talked about what her life has been like with three huge action packed films back to back and what she would need in order to come back to Avatar 2. There’s no doubt that she has earned the title “bad-ass chick” between all of her amazing and aggressive performances that she’s put in with spaceships, a bow and arrow, and now a bazooka.
Below she talks about what her year (with a few small comments from Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has been like and why she loves being the only girl in an all male cast…
I wonder what kind of training did you do to own the title of “Bad-ass chick”?
Zoe Saldana: The stunt coordinator that worked on The Losers, was the stunt coordinator on Avatar so I’ve known Garrett Warren for three or four years. He trained me so he’s the one that has beaten me up and knows exactly what my body can do at times when I didn’t even know that I can do it myself. So, by the time we got to Puerto Rico, we basically just changed a couple things because I had to substitute the bow and the arrow for the guns and the knives and things like that.
Throughout the entire summer while we were shooting I was still training with Garrett especially ‘cause we really wanted to get that fight scene to be amazing ‘cause Sylvain wanted it to be violent but he always said it to us, he’s like “well, they’re beating the crap out of each other but they’re also getting to know each other” so it’s sort of like a conversation, a very violent conversation and Jeffrey and I really wanted to capture that.
How much fun was it kicking Jeffrey’s ass and being the only female in this ensemble?
Zoe: It feels good.
Jeffrey Morgan: She didn’t kick my ass. (laughter) It was even-Steven.
Zoe: You know, when you’re the only girl in the cast there’s a level of, I almost feel like you have twice as much work to do because you don’t want to be singled out, you’re already the only girl. So if you’re the one who says “I can’t do this” or it’s going to be like “Oh, my God she’s wimping out ’cause she’s a girl whatever,” so I toughed it out, I really wanted to impress the guys and I liked being around them. I’ve always feel like I can hold my own and Jeffrey was absolutely amazing in the fight scene. There were couple of moments there where you know where I had to immediately look at him like “Oh, my God, did I really hit you hard on your head?” Or he would look at me like “Did I slam you really hard?” But it was fun, I liked it.
You tend to play really strong female characters, have you ever considered doing something completely opposite of that?
Zoe: Like a “damsel in distress“? Of course. You know, you want to play great characters but right now I feel like Hollywood has made a riffing out of portraying women to be such canker sores. We just have to be rescued all the time ‘cause we are so incompetent but in reality, you know, sometimes art needs to reflect what’s going on in real life. In today’s society especially in American society, women are doing so much. I grew up in Queens in the 80’s when women were care-takers and they were the soldiers and I’m in that phase right now and until I burn that, then I’ll be the “damsel in distress” but right now I like holding a gun, I like participating in saving of the day. I think it’s really sexy and it’s kind of like my mom so that’s it.
Jeffrey and Zoe, you guys both has big actions movies come out one by one in the last year, do you feel like this is “your year?”
Jeffrey: I thought my year was coming until Zoe’s year came. (laughter) Now I’m just riding her coattails.
Zoe: I know I don’t only speak for myself when I saw as an artist you can only ask for one thing, is to be able to pay the bills, living off of your art enough to pay the bills so when you get to do that and also you’re recognized by amazing producers and directors for all the work that you put in.
We all imagine that there is going to be a sequel to Avatar so when James Cameron is ready to do that, will you have that down or are there different things you want to do with that performance?
Zoe: It’s whatever the boss says and as long as, he already how I like to approach, you know, I need at least six to seven months to get into my tier again of training and stuff and whatever is going to happen is going to happen. The good thing that we all know about Jim is that, I mean it’s not so good sometimes, sometimes we have to wait like ten years for it but by the time he does come around, he gives you something that sort of changes your life, you know, or at least touches it in such a way. So I at least know Avatar 2 is going to be as great as the first one because Jim is the S-H-I-T. (laughter)
You don’t feel like you have that down ‘cause you did learn it for four years?
Zoe: You know, it does take training. It’s not something that I can just like turn on or off, everything is a learned skill. The same way it took me two-three months to channel Aisha, you know, Neytiri is going to take her time as well. I mean there are people that are incarnating and it takes a little bit of preparation.
Zoe, didn’t wear high-heels in this film, which is great because it is hard to do what you did in high heels. Was it your idea to keep the boots flatter? What did you put into your costume?
Zoe: Magali Guidasci who’s an amazing costume designer and Sylvain had sketched out a very specific flavor or tone of each of the characters but they left enough space for each of us to come and incorporate just our, you know, our essence of how we were visualizing incarnating these characters. I have to say, I had to lose that battle and very much so to Sylvain because that hotel room honestly and I’m just telling you, I could have done it in black Gucci boots too but they wanted no heels. And I just though heels or no heels, a women can still kick a man’s ass, could if she proposes herself to with Louboutin’s or flats.
Trailer for The Losers which is in theaters April 23rd below…