Actress Zoe Saldana was rocketed to fame when she starred in James Cameron’s Avatar, and soon after cemented her place in science fiction history by taking the role of communications officer Nyota Uhura in the 2009 reboot of the Star Trek movie franchise. However, her taking over the ground-breaking Star Trek role that was once played by Nichelle Nichols almost didn’t happen.
Saldana is appearing this month on the cover of both InStyle Hair and Latina magazine. The actress spoke with Latina about her recent career, and stated that she “was afraid” to take the Star Trek role and felt “overwhelmed.” From the interview:
“…I thought: ‘Maybe I should just take some time off and focus and just rest?’ But my mom is a Trekkie, and my team was like, ‘Zoe, are you stupid? Don’t let fear immobilize you. This is an amazing opportunity to step into the shoes of an iconic character in an iconic series and it’s in space and you’re a sci-fi buff.’ And I was like, ‘oh my God, who am I kidding? Absolutely. I’ll totally do it.’”
The star also spoke about the rumors of her “meltdown” after Avatar (she called them “completely blown out of proportion”) and the backlash she endured after being cast in the role of singer Nina Simone in a new biopic.