Seemingly capable of achieving anything she focuses her mind to, Zoe Saldana has successfully built a solid base in her acting career with glowing talent in performing arts plus intense concentration and steely determination to finally emerge as one of Hollywood starlets worth to watch for. Born Zoe Yadira Zaldana Nazario to immigrants from Dominican Republic on June 19, 1978 in New Jersey, she was raised in Queens, New York but later moved to her parents' homeland along with her mother and sister following her father's tragic death from a car accident happened when she was nine years old. A natural dancer, the girl then was granted a scholarship to the country's Ritmos Espacio de Danza Academy where she persistently honed her skills in ballet, jazz, and modern Latin dance for some years before returning to U.S. at age 17. It was during this time that the slender teen began to be more involved in acting, joining both Faces Theatre Company and the New York Youth Theater in which she wonderfully managed to appear in its musical production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
Unbeknownst to Zoe, her performance there turned out to be the beginning of her career in Hollywood as it surprisingly drew the attention of a talent agent who afterwards helped her to land a supporting role in Nicholas Hytner's 2000 dance drama of "Center Stage." With her knack in ballet also acting, this slender girl effortlessly nailed the role of talented yet snippy Eva Rodriguez to satisfyingly earn initial public notice around the States which consequently enabled her to move further in the industry for sure. Next seen in "Get Over It" (2001) accompanying Kirsten Dunst plus Shane West, she strived higher in 2002 through her two film pictures of "Crossroads" alongside Britney Spears and "Drumline" opposite Nick Cannon, the latter even brought her to larger exposure when it made its way to score over 56 million U.S. dollar during its run in domestic theaters. What was more, it also directed the striking actress to gain her first honor, a nomination for Best Kiss category she shared with Cannon at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.
Riding on this success, Zoe wonderfully used the chance to aim for roles in more high-profile features and amazingly accomplished to do so as she was later included in the cast of Gore Verbinski's phenomenal adventure flick, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003). Though appeared briefly, she was able to create one of the film's most memorable comic scenes when her character, Anamaria, who is the only female pirate in the movie, makes Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow bend to her will with her open fierceness. Similar case went for another blockbuster film, "The Terminal" (2004), in which she was showcased nicely as an airport security worker warming to a stranded immigrant played by Tom Hanks. The bright ray of the spotlight kept shining down on her when she was announced to be part of two big film projects of J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" (2008) and James Cameron's "Avatar" (2009), the former billing her as the USS Enterprise communications officer Nyota Uhura while the latter finding her becoming an alien love interest to lead character Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington.