Zoe Saldaña, known for her roles in some of the biggest films, initially hesitated before taking on the lead in Taylor Sheridan’s Special Ops: Lioness. However, after a year and some encouragement from her husband, she embraced the role of Joe, a CIA operative in charge of female agents going undercover to infiltrate terrorists’ families. The show has shades of Sicario, and Saldaña hopes it will evoke a similar response in viewers.
Saldaña believes that Sheridan, the show’s creator, has a deep admiration for the real-life work carried out by intelligence operatives while the world sleeps. He aims to showcase this world in a way that goes beyond the typical black-and-white portrayal of espionage. The complex politics and difficult decisions made by these operatives intrigue her, and she was drawn to exploring this realm in the show.
To portray Joe effectively, Saldaña focused on understanding the character’s clear intentions and controlled emotions. Joe is portrayed as a straight shooter, someone with a clean and responsible approach to her work. She is always several steps ahead, making life-or-death decisions with great responsibility, and this required Saldaña to delve into the world of espionage and understand the mindset of such operatives.
Reflecting on her previous role as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Saldaña appreciates that writer-director James Gunn did not force a romantic connection between her character and Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt). She sees the decision to have them part ways with mutual respect as bittersweet but fitting for the character. Gamora had been through traumatic experiences, and the ending provided a sense of solace and openness for her character.
Throughout her career, Saldaña has worked with renowned creators like James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, and Taylor Sheridan. She feels grateful that they have recognized her talent and believed in her, especially during times when she doubted herself. Saldaña’s passion for her work leads her to choose projects that she genuinely enjoys and would want to watch as an audience member. She is drawn to themes and genres that resonate with her and appreciates the opportunity to be part of such creative ventures.
In conclusion, Zoe Saldaña overcame initial doubts to embrace her role in Special Ops: Lioness. Her portrayal of Joe, a CIA operative in a complex world, allowed her to explore themes beyond the typical spy narrative. Additionally, she appreciates the creative decisions made in her previous role as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and hopes for a hopeful future for the characters. Saldaña’s commitment to projects she loves has led her to collaborate with renowned creators, making her a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.