Str­gooin­ngg L

She doesn’t shy away from con­fronting sex­ism. She doesn’t shy away from fac­ing race is­sues in Hol­ly­wood. In fact, Zoe Sal­dana doesn’t shy away. Full stop. “Part of grow­ing up for me has been re­al­is­ing that be­ing the only fe­male in a cast is no longer the

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour Goddess -

ook­ing at the gor­geous 38-year-old Star Trek lead drink­ing pink cham­pagne to cel­e­brate wrap­ping up a shoot with Patrick De­marche­lier, you can’t help but won­der how Zoe Sal­dana, a girl from Queens who got shipped off to the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic at nine years old when her father died sud­denly and her mother needed to fo­cus on sup­port­ing her fam­ily, ended up here.

Well, first of all, you get the feel­ing that things don’t ‘hap­pen’ to Zoe Sal­dana. She wills them into ex­is­tence with the same de­ter­mi­na­tion that pro­pelled her from her break­out role as a mouthy bal­let stu­dent in the 2000 movie Cen­ter Stage straight through to her im­pres­sive cur­rent po­si­tion of star­ring in three block­buster movie fran­chises that have al­ready grossed a cu­mu­la­tive R59 bil­lion world­wide. But enough about her hugely suc­cess­ful ca­reer. Zoe wants to talk about her tod­dlers, her iden­ti­cal twin boys Cy and Bowie, who are al­most two.

You know that friend who couldn’t stop talk­ing about her ba­bies as soon as she re­pro­duced? Zoe is the Hol­ly­wood ver­sion of her. “My hus­band and I went to sup­per with friends, and all I did was talk about the boys. I re­mem­ber ask­ing Marco, ‘Am I talk­ing too much about the boys?’ and he says, ‘A lee­tle bit’ – in that ac­cent.” (Her Ital­ian hus­band, a sexy pro soc­cer player turned artist, took Zoe’s name when they got mar­ried in 2013.)

The fact is, Zoe makes hav­ing small kids look good, and she’s thrown her­self into par­ent­ing with all the gusto she brings to ev­ery­thing – act­ing, bal­let, stunt train­ing, mar­tial arts. “When I heard we were hav­ing boys, I wanted to make sure to give them the space they need. I’m a lit­tle… in­tense,” she ad­mits.

Her twins were born two months early by emer­gency C-sec­tion af­ter Zoe’s health started fail­ing, a har­row­ing sur­prise that height­ened the in­ten­sity. “The boys came at 32 weeks. When they were three or four months old, one morn­ing I woke up with this flood of emo­tions. Marco had them too, and we were able to say to each other, ‘Did we come close to it all chang­ing for­ever?’ We al­lowed our­selves to have a mo­ment of ‘poor us’. And that was it. Then one of the boys cried, and it was ‘Got to go!’”

For Zoe, “got to go” also ap­plied to work. But the stu­dio be­hind one of her films ini­tially turned down her re­quest that it cover the ex­tra child­care she re­quired in or­der to put in 15-hour days on set. Perks that male stars typ­i­cally get – pri­vate-jet ser­vice and tricked-out trail­ers – were one thing; babysit­ting, ap­par­ently, was an­other. “The tone changed in ne­go­ti­a­tions. I was start­ing to feel I was… dif­fi­cult,” she re­calls. While her re­quest was ul­ti­mately granted, she’s still both­ered by “the fact that there are women work­ing in these stu­dios – and that they’re the ones [en­forc­ing] these man-made rules. When are we go­ing to learn to stick to­gether?”

The quest for fe­male sol­i­dar­ity is a theme in Zoe’s life. “I come from a fam­ily of tough women,” she says of liv­ing with her sis­ters Mariel and Cisely. “Not in a bad way, just re­silient, strong, de­ter­mined and opin­ion­ated.” She adds, “Part of grow­ing up for me has been re­al­is­ing that be­ing the only fe­male in a cast is no longer the coolest thing. It’s lonely,” Zoe says. “I used to love it be­cause I thought, ‘I got in! I’m a cool girl!’ But while all the guys were flex­ing and talk­ing about mo­tor­bikes, I was wish­ing that I had women around.”

Her wish came true when she got preg­nant. “We were all reach­ing out to one an­other,” she says of her act­ing peers. “I got an email from Jes­sica Alba – who I only know from con­ver­sa­tions in the bath­room at events – say­ing, ‘Hey, con­grat­u­la­tions. This is my to-do list of how I did things. Maybe there’s

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