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article imageBlu-Ray/DVD Essentials: Zoe Saldana on 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Special

By Earl Dittman     Dec 7, 2014 in Entertainment
The 'Star Trek' and 'Avatar' star recalls getting green for her role as the deadly assassin Gamora in 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' Saldana also discusses making 'Nina,' her current role as franchise queen and if she plays with her own action figures.
With Guardians of the Galaxy, the Marvel Cinematic Universe expanded into the cosmos when brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt - The Lego Movie, Parks and Recreation) steals a coveted orb and becomes the object of a relentless bounty hunt. To evade his enemies, Quill forges an uneasy truce with Rocket (Bradley Cooper - American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook), a gun-toting raccoon; Groot (Vin Diesel - Fast and the Furious series, Riddick) , a tree-like humanoid; the deadly assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana - the Avatar and Star Trek franchise); and the revenge-driven Drax (Dave Bautista - Riddick, The Man with the Iron Fists). But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb, he must rally his ragtag band of misfits for a desperate battle that will decide the fate of the galaxy. Featuring amazing new characters and exclusive bonus features, this must-own blockbuster will have you hooked on a feeling…of pure adrenaline.
Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy has earned over $645 million worldwide and recently passed the $300 million mark at both the domestic and international box offices. Guardians of the Galaxy opened domestically August 1 with $94.3 million to become the biggest August debut of all time and ultimately the biggest August release ever; it’s also the highest grossing film of the year and the first to surpass $300 million in 2014 domestically. After becoming the 10th straight Marvel Studios film to open at Number One, Guardians of the Galaxy (available on Blu-ray/DVD on December 9) occupied the top spot domestically for four of its first six weekends in release.
Guardians of the Galaxy also stars Lee Pace (Pushing Daises) as Ronan, Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator) as Korath, John C. Reilly (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) as Corpsman Dey, Glenn Close (Damages) as Nova Prime and Benicio Del Toro (Traffic) as The Collector.
ZOE SALDANA ON GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY:
Zoe Saldana in  Guardians of the Galaxy
Zoe Saldana in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Marvl/Disney
Did all cast members get their make-up done together? "No, we didn’t. We had separate bungalows. It was only when we were all on set, all grey or green or blue and we couldn’t touch anything because we would just smear paint and stuff all over everything. We’d all sit together and Dave (Bautista) would be eating a super-healthy meal, I’d be having some fish and chips and Chris would be asking me, ‘So how’s the texture? Do you like the fish?’ He couldn’t eat it himself because he was on a strict diet so he was always asking me what my food tasted like."
How did you while away the long hours in the make-up chair? "Listening to music and talking. Sometimes I’d ask about Dave and was told, ‘This dude is meditating – he sits there and doesn’t move for hours,’ whereas sometimes they couldn’t even get me to sit down in the chair. My make-up artist, who I brought over from the States, would go ‘You need to sit down, get your dog and take a nap, otherwise we’ll be in trouble because I have to work on you.’ My dog and I would wake up and we’d both be green." (laughs)
What’s worse, putting the make-up on or taking it off? "Putting it on, trust me. When it comes to taking it off I think it’s easier because you know you’re just 30 minutes away from being in a hot tub and then bed. You’re literally ripping it off your face. The skin is flexible and it perspires and it’s ready to have that layer removed so it’s much more cooperative. They also have all these awesome solutions. It took four and a half hours to put it on and maybe an hour and 15 minutes to take off. "
You’ve spoken about Dave Bautista being very shy. Is it safe to assume from your outgoing personality that you’re far from shy yourself? "I’m not shy at all. My mum has asked me to be a little more shy! She’s sometimes like ‘Can you just shut up?’"
Dave Bautista  Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt in  Guardians of the Galaxy
Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Marvel/Disney
Since you both have athletic backgrounds, did you and Dave do a lot of your own stunts? "We’re every stunt coordinator’s nightmare and every director’s dream. Directors wish their actors could do more of the physical stuff, more of the stunts, just so they don’t have to cut from a wide master shot into a tight close-up. With us, James (Gunn) was able to use many of our medium, master and close-up shots particularly with me, Dave and Chris (Pratt). The stunt people don’t really like it because we come in and we learn everything within two tries. They get kind of pissed off because they don’t get to work as much. On the other hand, the stunt people who are playing your doubles are super-excited because they get to act [when they’re doubling for an actor]. They don’t have to spend the whole time just falling and getting hurt."
You are doing Star Trek, Avatar and Guardians of the Galaxy. I can’t think of any other actor who has three franchises going at the same time. "Wasn’t there someone who had two, like Sylvester Stallone? For many years Sly had First Blood and Rocky, right? (laughs) And now it’s me? Believe me, this was never planned. In between these big films, I do films like Out of the Furnace, Blood Ties, Nina and Infinitely Polar Bear which is coming out next year. It’s just that the big movies happen to get seen more than the small-budget ones I do, but I’m happy with it. I like playing roles where women have more significance – they just happen to be set in space and they just so happen to be made by filmmakers like James Gunn, James Cameron and J.J. Abrams. That’s not a bad list of filmmakers to work with so I say, ‘You know what, I’ll be green here, I’ll be blue there, I don’t care!’"
Speaking of Nina, how was it playing Nina Simone in the biopic? "It was a very tumultuous affair and I loved making it. We did it with so much love and I think her story is definitely worth telling."
What have you learned from doing so many green screen movies? "It’s helped me appreciate the technicalities of filmmaking. It’s also taught me that the best thing is to always remain open and that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. Ask every single question that you can and try to work with filmmakers who will never lose patience with their actors. It’s important for a director to provide as much information, especially when we’re working with things that we have to conceive out of thin air. You can’t just expect an actor to understand, 'Oh, there’s a dinosaur coming at you.' OK, so I’m going to automatically know how big it is and what it sounds like? I need details. How close does he get to me? How tall is he? What will the impact be of his cry when he’s screaming at me or when he’s blowing smoke or air in my face? James Cameron will bring you speakers that are twice your height and he’ll search the internet to find any sound that resembles as closely as possible the sound he’s looking for. He’ll play it to you seconds before he starts the scene and that is so helpful. I learned to always ask a lot of questions. It’s super-important."
Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt in  Guardians of the Galaxy
Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Marvel/Disney
How was Guardians director James Gunn to work with? "He was very generous with all the information we needed to have. He’d show us the animatics, he’d play the music, he’d explain the moment to us and how he envisioned it if we were not capturing the emotional beat as he wanted. He was very much invested even though he was taking care of ten thousand million things at the same time. You don’t want to feel afraid to ask a director something and if you do then that’s not a director you should work with after that."
Do you think James learned anything from you?
"How to be cool! (laughs) No, I’m joking. I hope he did learn something. I really feel the wise directors are the ones who learn from their actors in terms of, ‘How can I be a better director? How can I be a better captain?' I feel James is not an egotistical person. He’s very passionate and he’s also a little stubborn but in all the right places. He’s like good cholesterol. That’s James Gunn. We had moments where people thought it was tense because I was asking questions or trying to do something one way because I believed in it and James wanted me to do it another way, but we never argued, it was never a hostile environment. Sometimes Chris would go through the same thing – it was just a passionate moment between all these artists who really care. James never abused his power by saying, ‘Just do it like I said.' He was like, ‘Please trust me, do it this way and we’ll see.' If we did it his way and it didn’t work he’d say really quietly, ‘Alright, do it your way.'"
Was there a defining moment when you decided you wanted to be an actor? "I was a ballet dancer for so long, but when I realized I had reached my limit and that I couldn’t go any further I knew I wanted to pursue acting. That’s one thing you don’t use as a dancer – your voice. (laughs) And the one thing I use most in my life is my voice so it’s wonderful to get to express myself artistically through the biggest instrument I use. I auditioned for the Scarecrow in The Wiz and my mum went with me because she wouldn’t let me go anywhere alone. She did not think I was good, and I remember we had that conversation of ‘Baby, if you’re going to do this, we need to figure out a plan, like taking a class.' I did and I started reading a lot. There was this book that Judi Dench wrote that said there was a moment where, before an actor can be this or be that, the actor must simply be. I thought that to have absolute presence was to absorb everything that’s thrown at you. I’ve been getting paid for it ever since and (laughs) I haven’t needed an excuse to quit or to do something else."
Zoe Saldana at the London premiere of  Guardians of the Galaxy
Zoe Saldana at the London premiere of 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Marevl/Disney
Do you collect all the action figures based on the characters you’ve played? "Here’s the thing. I have nieces and nephews and when they find them in the house, they take them and they end up broken. So there’s no point in me collecting them. One day I walked in to find my niece playing with all the Star Trek figures and eating chocolate at the same time. I was like, ‘It’s OK, take them, I don’t need them, I don’t have to sell them later for $100.’" (laughs)
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Marvel/Disney
Guardians of the Galaxy Bonus (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: "Guide To The Galaxy with James Gunn"; "The Intergalactic Visual Effects For Guardians of the Galaxy" - learn how Rocket and Groot went from blue screen to big screen; Exclusive Look At Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron; Gag Reel - experience cosmic shenanigans and celestial goofs in this hilarious gag reel. Deleted Scenes with Commentary by James Gunn and Audio Commentary with James Gunn. (Available December 9)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND/OR DVD:
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Disney
The Hundred-Foot Journey
Starring Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren (Best Actress, The Queen), produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Julia Blake, and directed by Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat), this uplifting story bursts with flavor, passion and heart. When the chill chef proprietress of a Michelin-starred French restaurant in southern France (Mirren) gets wind of a culinary immigrant opening an Indian restaurant just 100 feet from her own, her icy protests escalate to all-out war between the two establishments. It's a celebration of triumph over exile as these two worlds collide and one young man tries to find the comfort of home in every pot — wherever he may be. Bonus (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: "The Hundred-Foot Journey with Steven Spielberg & Oprah Winfrey" - the producers sit down to discuss their first collaboration in 30 years; "The Recipe, The Ingredients, The Journey" - enter the enchanting world of the film, with stunning locations in the South of France, a beautifully crafted story, and food that will make you hungry for home and the spice of life; "On Set With Oprah Winfrey" and "Coconut Chicken" - see how this beautiful, Indian-inspired dish is made.
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Comedy Central
Drunk History: Season 1 & 2
Drunk History presents historical reenactments from A-list talent as told by inebriated storytellers. Drunken and often incoherent narrations provide a unique take on the familiar and not-so-familiar people and events from our county's great past, with unforgettable results. Host Derek Waters, along with an ever-changing cast of great actors, leads viewers from town to town across the country. In these 18 episodes, the show visits Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Detroit, Hawaii, Hollywood, Montgomery, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., and covers topics that include first ladies, sports stars, and the Wild West. Booze helps bring out the truth of our nation's history. It's just that sometimes that truth involves hitting on airport bar janitors or eating cheese fries at 4 a.m. Bonus Features: Drunk Outtakes & Extended Scenes; Extended "First Ladies" Episode and "Sober Reveals."
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Sony
Justified: The Complete Fifth Season
In the penultimate season of this fiery drama, U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) harbors a secret that could threaten his career and put the rest of the marshals in jeopardy. The brutal and volatile Crowe family re-emerges in Harlan County to cash in on their ongoing schemes — this time, not allowing anyone to stand in their way. And as Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) desperately tries to protect his imprisoned fiancee Ava (Joelle Carter) and gain control of the heroin market in Harlan, the result is a web of criminal conspiracies that will lead to an electrifying conclusion. Based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard. Bonus (Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: Commentaries; Deleted Scenes; "Season of the Crowe: Making Season Five': "The Big House: Prison Set Tour; "The Onion Eulogizes Elmore Leonard"; "Getting the Shot"; "The Coolest Guy in the Room"; "King Lear"; "Raylan Givens: Two Roads Diverge"; "Writer's Diary: A Week of Starvation" and "The Wall of Death: Season Five Body County."
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Lionsgate
Tyler Perry's Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned - The Play
A successful, single woman has it all - a great job, a loving family, and the ability to pay for her baby sister's wedding. According to her best friend, however, there's only one thing missing... the love of a good man. At her friend's insistence, she meets the seemingly perfect man online and all seems well, until he convinces her to get married in Las Vegas and her life quickly spirals out of control. Can she regain the upper hand, or will the tides turn for the worse? Bonus (DVD + UltraViolet) Feature: Behind-the-Scenes Interviews.
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Lionsgate
Cantinflas
In Cantinflas, the true story of Mexico's greatest and most beloved comedy film star is told for the first time. From his humble origins on the small stage to the bright lights of Hollywood, Cantinflas became famous around the world — one joke at a time. Relive the laughter that has charmed generations. Mexico's official submission for the 2014 Academy Award's Best Foreign Language Film category, Cantinflas stars Oscar Jaenada, accompanied by the talents of Michael Imperioli, Ilse Salas, Luis Gerardo Mendez and Gabriella de la Garza. Cantinflas is a untold tale of one man's journey from modest beginnings to superstardom. Bonus Feature: "Cantinflas: From Mexico to the Big Screen" Featurette.
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Magnolia
Nymphomaniac: Extended Director's Cut - Volume 1 & 2
Extended Director's Cut: Volume 1 is the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who is discovered badly beaten in an alley by an older bachelor, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), who takes her into his home. As he tends to her wounds, she recounts the erotic story of her adolescence and young-adulthood (portrayed in flashback by newcomer Stacy Martin). Volume I also stars Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen and Udo Kier. Extended Director's Cut: Volume 2 continues with the story of the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her adulthood, during which her journey of self-discovery leads complications. The film stars Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth and Jean-Marc Barr in addition to Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin and Shia LaBeouf. Bonus Features: Volume 1 - "The Characters"; AXS TV: "A Look at Nymphomaniac"; Nymphomaniac Volume I Trailer and Teaser. Volume 2 - "The Director" - "The Sex" and Nymphomaniac Volume II Trailer
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Lionsgate
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Film Movement
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The Hero Of Color City
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Cartoon Network
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Lionsgate
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Lionsgate
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Lionsgate
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