Where are all of the juicy roles for women? In outer space, apparently! Zoe Saldana recently told Badass Digest that she prefers acting in movies set in space because those movies offer her more diverse opportunities. We can tell just by looking at her resume (Star Trek, Avatar, and Guardians of The Galaxy), that she firmly upholds this belief. And you know what? She's kinda right — if you're grappling in space, you're not stuck in Earthly pigeonholes such as "the girlfriend" or "the love interest" or "the wife." See the diversity there? Here's what she had to say about it:
I like being in space because there are better parts for women in space. I don’t have to subject myself to just being the love interest or playing a character that doesn’t feel relevant to the story or playing a woman that doesn’t feel like an actual depiction of a real woman. When I read films in space, and I’m working with these kinds of filmmakers, there’s a neutral sense to the way they develop characters. It makes me feel very significant, very relevant and very excited.
Saldana certainly has a point in that it's easier to be on equal footing when you're operating on another planet. We've seen some truly kick-ass roles for women in space — I'm specifically thinking of Sandra Bullock's solo tour-de-force in Gravity right now, and I'm even journeying back into the '70s when Sigourney Weaver was freakin' fierce in Alien.
But there might be another reason that Saldana loves acting in space films. The actress admitted that she has a bit of geek-film lust. She said:
They [filmmakers] give themselves the right to imagine the unimaginable. I’m the kind of person that, even if I wasn’t in this business, and I was at a BBQ and [people] like James Cameron and Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams was at that BBQ — and they weren’t filmmakers — we’d still end up talking. I’d be in that group. I’d gravitate towards those people more - they’re such interesting creatures to me!
While it's awesome that Saldana can simultaneously relish her nerdy love for space films and skip over the acquiescent girlfriend roles, here's hoping that actresses like her soon have more opportunities to work with the scripts that — as she said — "imagine the unimaginable," but are also on this Earth. Actresses should feel that they can work with scripts in which women can defy stereotypes regardless of their setting, or, ahem, planet. Earth should be a woman-friendly place, too, you know.
Image: 20th C. Fox