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Here’s Why Zoe Saldaña Wanted Her Character In The Animated Film “Missing Link” To Speak Spanish When She Was Angry

Zoe Saldaña is back on the big screen. The Dominican-Puerto Rican actress, known for portraying strong women, is staying on theme, this time as the character Adelina Fortnight in the animated stop-motion feature Missing Link.

The film, which was written and directed by storyboard artist and filmmaker Chris Butler, follows a Sasquatch named Mr. Link, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, who seeks the help of adventurer Lionel Frost, played by Hugh Jackman, in a quest to find his long-lost relatives, the yeti, in Shangri-La. The duo is later joined by Adelina, who is mourning the death of her late husband, and accompanies the men in an effort to fulfill a mission he couldn’t achieve. During the trek, however, she ultimately accomplishes something greater: finding herself.

“Adelina is a very responsible individual who has had to start over a couple of times in her life. [She’s] now finding herself in a place where she needs a change. She needs to do something that makes her feel purposeful,” Saldaña, 40, told Newsweek of her character.  “She embarks on this adventure with these two characters and ends up really walking away with the answer she’s really looking for, which is her own independence. She needs to be completely independent for her to feel complete happiness.”

For the Guardians of the Galaxy actress, Adelina — an immigrant of Latin American descent, though the writers do not detail which country she is from — reminds her of the strong and powerful women that raised her. There’s a scene in the movie where the character stands up for Mr. Link when he is being bullied by Frost, behavior that evokes memories of Saldaña’s female relatives.

“Adelina reminds me so much of all the women that raised me. It’s true! They’re dutiful and have a sense of justice. They never stop and they’re very determined, but also they have a soft spot for underdogs. I like that about her,” she said.

But the character is like her family in another way: she’s bilingual, and tends to speak Spanish when she’s angry.

According to an interview with Remezcla, Butler said Saldaña chose to have her character switch to her native tongue when she became irate with one of her journey mates, usually Frost.

“I would ask Zoe, ‘If you were really that angry at this guy, what would you say?’ All I asked for was no swearing, and so she’d just come up with a few different versions,” Butler told the Latinx news site. “I think it was informed by her family as well, certain conversations with her grandma and her mother. She brought some of that into the character, too.”

Saldaña, whose only role fully in Spanish was in the 2005 Dominican film La Maldición del Padre Cardona, wanted to offer a realistic representation that young children in the US could relate to, especially her own kids, Bowie, 4, Cy, 4, and Zen, 2.

She was also eager to work with Laika, the stop-motion studio behind the film, hoping to ensure the “exquisite,” as she describes it, style sustains.

Missing Link is currently in theaters. The A-list actress’s next big-screen film is Avengers: Endgame, with Sandaña reprising her part as Gamora later this month.

Read: Zoe Saldana Just Got A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame Making Her The Sixteenth Latina In History To Earn One

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‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

Entertainment

‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

Phillip Faraone / Getty Images

Shia LeBeouf is in the new movie “The Tax Collector” and people are accusing him of brownface for this role. The actor takes on the accent for the role and got a chest tattoo to do the role authentically. For some, it is cultural appropriation and it has started a debate.

Shia LeBeouf is the man in “The Tax Collector” and people have questions.

The pulse-pounding trailer has all of the action you can handle so you can only imagine what the full movie is like. The movie is all about the tax collector having to fight to protect his family when a rival takes over his turf. LeBeouf is ready to do whatever it takes to save his family.

Some people are very upset about the role for LeBeouf.

The tattoos and the accent are too much for people. Some have argued that the role was not at all a way of cultural appropriation. Instead, LeBeouf is playing a white role that happens to have grown up in a neighborhood where he picked up the accent and a certain way of dress.

The argument is going both ways with people fighting to defend him.

While the role could be really problematic for some, others see themselves reflected in it. There are many people defending LeBeouf because they too grow up in a neighborhood and took on the culture of the neighborhood.

The director of the film, David Ayer, spoke out saying that LeBeouf is not in brownface.

“He’s a white guy playing a white guy. He’s not taking anyone’s work away,” Ayer told the LA Times to calm the critics.

What do you think?

READ: Bon Appétit Editor Adam Rapoport Resigns Over Brownface Scandal

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Zoe Saldana Apologizes For Portraying Nina Simone In 2016 Biopic

Entertainment

Zoe Saldana Apologizes For Portraying Nina Simone In 2016 Biopic

John Minihan / Evening Standard / Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Most of our favorites have a biopic highlighting their lives in ways we didn’t know them. In 2016, Nina Simone’s biopic was released with Zoe Saldana portraying her. There was a backlash then but Saldana did the movie anyway. Now, she’s sorry she did.

Zoe Saldana is showing remorse for portraying Nina Simone in a biopic years ago.

“I should have never played Nina,” Saldana says in a live video that has been shared on social media. “I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had 10 years ago, which was a different leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless. I should have done everything in my power to cast a black woman to play an exceptionally perfect black woman.”

Saldana continued with her apology by asking someone else to tell Simone’s story.

“She’s one of our giants and someone else should step up,” Saldana says. “Somebody else should tell her story.”

Saldana continues saying that Simone’s story has yet to be told on a large scale and it is a shame that more people have not heard her story, likely because of the biopic drama.

People are questioning Saldana’s motives for apologizing.

Simone’s family pushed back asking Saldana not to take the role in the past. They called her out for taking Simone’s legacy and taking the portrayal for someone who would have been better suited to tell the story.

Specifically, people are calling Saldana out for the colorism that played into her portrayal.

In the apology, Saldana does not mention the colorism that played a role in the backlash. Simone was a dark-skinned woman whose skin was important in her civil rights activism and identity. Saldana also had to wear a prosthetic on her nose to have the same nose as the singer.

While critics feel the same sentiment about Saldana as Simone, they want more from her apology.

Colorism is a very important conversation in the Black community. Saldana’s portrayal of Simone was a keystone moment in that discussion of colorism in the Black community. Many are still angered at Saldana’s portrayal of Simone because of the use of blackface and prosthetic to off-set Saldana’s European looks.

READ: Leave It To Zoe Saldana To Take Something As Dark As Her Character’s Baggage And Turn It Into A Message Of Strength And Redemption

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