Zoe Saldana feels “stuck” doing Avatar and Marvel movies

Zoe Saldana has dedicated the last decade of her life to two major movie franchises: Avatar and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but now she's ready to move on

Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy

Since Gamora’s kind-of-but-not-really death in Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War, Zoe Saldana has been able to, at least, have a bit of a break from playing the character throughout MCU Phase 4. First appearing in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora quickly became an integral MCU character due to her connection to Thanos, the Mad Titan and main villain of the Infinity Saga.

Although the Gamora we grew to know died in 2018’s Infinity War, another variant of the character, played once again by Saldana, showed up in Avengers: Endgame and ultimately decided to help the Guardians defeat Thanos: although where she went after the climax of the superhero movie remains a mystery.

Either way, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 being the last of the trilogy, it looks like we won’t be seeing Saldana as Gamora much longer — although, now that Avatar 2 is nearly here following a decade-long production process, it feels like her journey with the character Neytiri has just begun.

In a new interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Saldana was candid about the weight of carrying two major franchises, explaining: “I feel that for the last ten years of my life, I’ve been just stuck. I felt stuck doing these franchises. I’m very grateful for the opportunities that they provided, from collaborating with amazing directors and getting to meet cast members that I consider friends and getting to play a role that fans, especially children, love.”

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“But it also meant that I felt artistically stuck in my craft of not being able to expand or grow or challenge myself by playing different sorts of genres and different roles,” she added. “So this is something that I wanted to do for a very long time. And wrestling, too, with this pressure that society puts on women that your youth is gone as soon as you have children and you go into your 40s.”

Saldana can be seen next in Avatar: The Way of the Water. The science fiction movie arrives in theatres on December 16, 2022.