Zoe Saldana: Why She Won’t Accept Most Latina Roles

Zoe Saldana’s new movie, Out of the Furnace, centers on a handful of characters faced with impossibly tough choices in the failing Rust Belt town of Braddock, Pennsylvania.

“Christian Bale’s character, Russell, and his brother, played by Casey Affleck, are these brothers that are trying to stay afloat and keep an open mind,” she says, “even though life keeps beating them down with all these unfortunate circumstances.”

Saldana’s character, Lena Warren, finds herself trapped in the brothers’ complicated web, even though all she yearns for is calm domesticity.

“She’s a small-town girl that is a teacher, and all she wants to do is stay at home in her town and be with her family,” says Saldana, “and when her love is taken away from her, she’s unable to make decisions that are normally the decisions and the routes hat people who consider themselves strong would do.”

The actress herself, however, remains strong in one decision, she says – to rarely accept Latina roles, even though she is of both Dominican and Puerto Rican descent.

“There are very few roles for characters that are of Latin descent, and the ones that are there, are not substantial characters, or insubstantial content that I would [not] consider well representative of a culture that I belong to and am so very proud of,” she says. “When art doesn’t really imitate life, as an artist, I don’t like to be a part of it.”

Watch the rest of Saldana’s interview with DNA above.