Most of you know that I was in Los Angeles earlier this month to be at Disney Studios for the #GuardiansoftheGalaxy Event as well as some other movie screenings. On the last day of the event I had the opportunity to be able to interview a number of the cast members and director James Gunn as a part of the press junket that would lead up to the world premier of the movie. I have to be honest and say that Seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy Movie and meeting these actors and Director James Gunn was probably the highlight of the trip, though everything was equally amazing! I wanted to take a few minutes to be able to reflect back on the interviews that I was a part of with the group of amazing bloggers that I was with.
One of the interviews that we had for the #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent was with Zoe Saldana. I did not know what to expect with her as I had seen her in numerous movies in the past and have always loved the passion she brings to her characters but to meet her in person was exciting as I really wanted to hear more from her, especially for how her character would act as a role model for young girls today. In Guardians she plays Gamora, a character that is an assassin in the comic and is bad to the bone in this movie too!
I have to be honest and say that I was really looking forward to meeting and speaking with Zoe Saldana. For me, one of the reasons behind this is that I am the father to two girls and I see Gamora as a powerful role model for young women. Yes, in the comic she is an assassin and she is not the nicest of characters, at least at first in the movie, but she comes around. In speaking with Zoe, she too saw herself in this way too. She mentioned that young women need role models as there are too few these days and that Gamora shows women that they can do “it”, whatever “it” may be for them. She made the analogy of the little girl being told that she was a princess and Zoe wanting to go to that same girl and saying “no, you can be the king.”
So for Zoe Saldana, she mentioned that taking the role was selfish because she knew that she wanted to be with an amazing director and she knew that James Gunn was that type of director. She explained that the Director makes or breaks a movie for her and that she is not afraid to walk away from a film if it is not a right fit between her and the Director. Good for her!
The role of Gamora is one that took a long time to prepare for daily. Zoe Saldana mentioned that every day it took 4.5-5 hours to get through makeup. She said that at first there was even talk about having her wear contacts but she said that there is something about being able to look into someones eyes, their real eyes that allows you to connect with them on film, and that cemented the deal, no contacts! At the end of the day, even though she still was able to get out of makeup, Zoe mentioned that everything still was green. She said “my pillow was green, my dog was green, everything was green.”
In preparing for any role Zoe Saldana mentioned that you have to come to a character from a real place. For her, she mentioned that she really did not grow up with comic books, but she always saw the boys with them as they would completely forget about her when they got their new comics. For Zoe, she said that she preferred seeing comics come to life on television. She particularly loved watching Thundercats and She-Ra and she and her sister would fight on who got to play Cheetara or She-Ra when they were acting out the scenes from the show.
Being that she was not that aware of the Guardians of the Galaxy Zoe Saldana turned to her resident expert about the comic, her nephew. When she found out she was going to play Gamora, her nephew said “Do you know who you are playing?” He went on to explain to her that Gamora was taken from her home planet after Thanos killed her parents and she was forced into a life of crime. And Zoe said, “Yeah she’s bad ass.” Her nephew quickly responded, “She’s not a bad ass, she’s an assassin.”
Zoe Saldana’s favorite part in the movie was when Groot made the nest for the other Guardians, sacrificing himself for them. During that scene she said that James Gunn was playing the music you hear in the film and everyone was in the moment, it was intense.
Not only was Zoe Saldana amazing to interview, but she does a great job as Gamora in the film. I look forward to seeing Zoe in this role for many movies to come!
Want to learn more? The transcript of the full interview can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/don4chpan2o4bgv/GOTG-ZOESALDANA.doc
About the Movie
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.
Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super-Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.
James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige, p.g.a., producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Nik Korda and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman and releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014.
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