Zoe Saldana Slams Hollywood "Elitists" Who Think Marvel Actors Are "Selling Out"

Zoe Saldana is calling out her peers in Hollywood for looking down on Marvel films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War, in both of which she appears.

“I’ve been in rooms with people in this industry who are great at what they do, but they’re absolutely elitist and they look down at movies like the Marvel films or actors like myself. They think we’re selling out in some way,” Saldana revealed in an interview with Net-A-Porter. “Every time they speak I feel so disappointed in them, because whenever you see pictures of people in this industry who donate their time to children in need, it’s these actors that live in the world that you feel is selling out.”

Saldana explained that the responsibility of playing a superhero is often overlooked. “That actor takes time out of their life and sits down with that five-year-old and says, ‘I see you, I hear you, and you matter,’” she said. “Those elitists should be a little more cognizant about what playing a superhero means to a young child. Because you’re not just dissing me, you’re dissing what that child considers important in their world.”

“I feel so proud to be living in space, to be playing green and blue aliens, to inspire, primarily, the younger generations.” She continued, “I remember what it was like to be young and to feel completely excluded out of the mainstream conversation of life because I was just little and unimportant and ‘other.’”

The Avengers: Infinity War actress links her love of science fiction films to her childhood. When asked if she saw herself represented in films while growing up, Saldana admitted that she saw herself in a number of sci-fi characters. “As a child, when I saw Sigourney Weaver play Ellen Ripley or Linda Hamilton play Sarah Connor, they were my true north, because I loved action, I loved science fiction and I loved the roles that they played,” she said. “They were inspiring to me; I wanted that. It wasn’t until I started in my own career that I was reminded that I wasn’t ‘like’ them.”

Saldana added that many of her coworkers in the genre have similarly felt like outsiders. “I work with filmmakers who gravitated to this genre because they were exiles in their own right, excluded from a mainstream conversation,” she said. “They found their world and they were able to imagine the unimaginable. Everything about how they create, and how they invite characters to join them, is absolutely inclusive.”

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