Have you ever seen someone walk into the room and instantly light it up? That was exactly how it was when Zoe Saldana walked into the room! She was equally as excited as we were and loved seeing all the women in the room.
On the relationship between Gamora and Nebula in the film
I loved it! I was very excited! There are three female characters in this movie, and they all were going to provide three different essences, you know? Mantis just resembles such an innocent creature, and Nebula’s so angry. She’s so angry (she laughs) and Gamora is so maternal, and she’s turned over this new leaf. In the first movie, she was so selfish, and it was about getting away, and running away from her father. Now it’s about keeping this family together, and keeping them always on track. She (Gamora) is the opposite of who she was in the first movie.
On being maternal on set
I never looked at any of them and thought, oh, these are like my kids. I tried, but I’m the middle child of three sisters, so I was never the Gamora. My sister Mariel is more the Gamora, she keeps us on track and everything. I was always the one who found it hard to focus, that was me. So channeling something in Gamora, I think I was just thinking about my sister.
On being a strong female character
I love it. I do, but I would like to take a break from, from playing kick ass science fiction females. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years, I’m kind of tired.
Growing up I only had two icons that I can reference, and I’d watch those movies until my tape would break. It was Ellen Ripley from Aliens, and Sarah Connor from Terminator. I would watch these movies endlessly. But other than that I was always watching action movies told through the eyes of males, but always feeling that gap, that void.
I feel like I did take it upon myself to just be happy with the fact that I took a gamble on these movies for a first time, they ended up being super special, and they went into sequels. I didn’t think of this, trust me. It was not my idea. I had my responsibility to fulfill them. But once I was there, I didn’t want to be better about it. I wanted to acknowledge that maybe it means something. Maybe it is important that I’m a part of those women that are filling in that gap, so that women can have more options, and more references to look into.
What do you want young girls to take away from Gamora, or your character in general?
I think that it’s okay to still be vulnerable, and be strong. I think that for some reason, we take it upon ourselves, or we’re told that you have to be one thing or the other. And I think that vulnerability is a strength, and being strong that means that you have to be vulnerable. So, I hope young women take that because I don’t see Gamora as a strong character. I see her as someone that’s tired. Annoyed. But she’s very vulnerable.
On the stunts in the film
My stunt woman is Lee-Anne Telford and she’s phenomenal. She really did all the parts where Gamora looks absolutely like, unbelievably just cool, that’s Leanne. All the parts where I’m posing, and taking out my sword and stuff, that’s me. (laughs) But I did do a lot of those jumps and I would do a lot of the stunts that she would do, but like, the PG-13 version.
There is a jump that I did, they made me jump from three stories, something like a 30 foot jump and I was on wires. I don’t remember if somebody told me, and I forgot, or somebody forgot to tell me that I was going to free fall. So when they said action, and I jumped. I jumped, and thought I was dying. (laughing) Then James Gunn was like, yeah, your face was kind of awful there, you have to do it again. And I was just like, oh my god. So I did it again.
What is your favorite scene?
There’s a scene with Nebula and I, in the end, where I’m trying to the best of my abilities to offer her an apology for what she feels that I did to her, for what I really did to her.
I wish that scene would’ve been a little more emotional for Gamora’s end. But now that I see the movie for the second time, I really respect the fact that James Gunn has a vision and an idea of an arc for each and every one of these characters, and what they represent, as a family unit. Gamora is this just unbreakable support, the wall that everybody sort of leans on.
There’s a lot that she can reveal, but it’s always within measure. I think he’s pacing her out. I mean, at least I hope he is. But it was very beautiful, because I felt that this is the first time that Nebula and Gamora were able to start the process of like, closure. At least Gamora would like to think it that way. She left the door open, so that Nebula can just come back whenever she wants to.
On the chemistry between Gamora and Peter Quill and its future.
I’m not a sucker for romance in films. It needs to be really well done, and very meticulously paced out, in order for me to feel like it wasn’t gratuitous for the audience, and it wasn’t just part of like, a recipe for disaster at the box office. I think that James Gunn is exceptionally talented in the way that he creates strong characters in the beginning, and then he really lets these characters tell him where they need to go, based on what he established before.
So, Gamora and Quill are, they’re best friends. The bond that they have is so spiritually dynamic, that, to top it off with a kiss, you might actually ruin it. You know? So, I feel like it lives better, and it’s stronger, in the way that they communicate, and the way that they counsel each other, and the way that they think and protect each other. And then the way that they cover up for each other.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5th!
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