Zoe Saldana plays Christian Bale's beloved in "Out of the Furnace." Credit: Getty Images
Zoe Saldana is in some pretty good company in the drama "Out of the Furnace," co-starring alongside Christian Bale, Forest Whitaker, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Willem Defoe and Sam Shepard in director Scott Cooper's follow-up to "Crazy Heart." Just don't expect her to watch it more than twice through.
It's quite the impressive ensemble in this. Who was already on board when you joined the cast?
Christian was already on board, Sam Shepard was already on board, then everybody else was still up in the air. But they were the names that were mentioned. Casey was almost a yes, I believe. So when I heard these names I really prayed that it was going to be everybody that joined the cast because those are actors that I've always wanted to work with. And to actually have them all together, it's like having pizza, cheeseburgers and ice cream at the same time. [Laughs]
I was explaining the plot of this film to a friend, and their response was, "So Uhura leaves Batman for Ghost Dog?"
I love that! Uhura leaves Batman for Ghost Dog. I'm going to tell Christian and Forest that. It's amazing.
Some actors can't stand watching their own films. How about you?
I only have it in me for maybe two screenings, and then after that I can't do it. I like to see it and feel very happy for everything first, then the second time you're watching it and you're paying attention to what everybody's doing, and then after the third time it's going to be about everything else — "Oh, my hair…" "Did they have to use this take? There was another take that was so good." After the third screening you just can't watch it anymore. You revisit it every two or three years when a family member forces you to sit down with them and watch it while they hold your hand. Which is what happens to me and my grandma.
You have to give them a little leeway because it's family.
Yeah. Like my poor grandma, she's been asking me to give her an autograph since I did "Center Stage" 15 years ago, and I'm not going to write my grandmother an autograph. That's just ridiculous. I'm your granddaughter. You get to cook for me. And if one day I'm sick you get to heal me. I'm not going to sign my name on a picture of myself and go, "Here, Grandma!" It's just uncomfortable.
Has it really been 15 years since "Center Stage"? Now I feel old.
Are you kidding? I turned 21 on that movie, and now it's like even if I wanted to play a high school student, I could never. That's the way I would see it sometimes, going, "OK, I'm 26 today, but I can still play like I'm in high school." And then that one day I remember I said it for the last time and [my agent] was the one that said, "Uh… no." I never thought about it again. [Laughs]