Zoe Saldana made an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” recently and the Dominican-Puerto Rican actor had lots to chat about with host Stephen Colbert. Saldana, who was there to promote her latest film, “Star Trek Beyond,” briefly talked about what it’s like raising 20-month-old twins. Her secret? Lots of caffeine. She then described what it was like to work with the late Anton Yelchin, one of her co-stars in the “Star Trek” film series who died tragically last month.
The 38-year-old actor also talked to Colbert about art and its ability to inspire people to do great things:
Mental Health Awareness Month is going on right now and this year, Americans are struggling more than ever. The pandemic has forced us all into our homes, shutting us off from our communities and our support systems. For people who already struggle with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, the isolation of the pandemic simply exacerbated our problems. For children, the problem is even worse.
The Child Mind Institute launched its yearly campaign for mental health awareness. This time, the campaign is called “Getting Better Together”. The campaign is meant to give support, encouragement and connection to kids struggling during this unprecedented time.
Recently, Costa Rican-American actor and dancer Harry Shum Jr. shared his mental health checklist for dealing with anxiety and depression.
“You’re not alone if you’re feeling anxious, dealing with anxiety or depression, because I’ve felt that way, not just this past year, but all my life,” he started the video. “Over time, you just find things that will help you through those times.” He then shared what helps him stay in good mental shape.
“My checklists are very, very simple things,” he said. “Are you getting enough sleep? Two is, are you eating the right things that are helping repair your body that are giving you nutrition? And if you’re not, then you might want to take a look at that.”
“And then three, what I love to do, I love to dance and sing and exercise, and sometimes just lifting weights and sometimes just dancing and acting like a goofball by myself in the room, and sometimes doing it with other people if it’s safe to do. And other times it’s really just about having a good conversation with someone that will listen and that you’ll do the same for them.”
Harry Shum Jr.’s advice is both incredibly helpful and spot-on. Mental health experts agree that sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, and talking about your feelings as excellent methods of dealing with mental health issues.
Dominicana actress and sci-fi queen Zoë Saldaña also revealed her personal mental health journey in her Getting Better Together video.
“Growing up with ADHD and dyslexia meant school was challenging,” Saldaña said. “I can’t imagine how hard a year like we’ve just had would be for kids who face the same classroom struggles that I did. Adjusting to remote learning, trying to stay focused on a screen hour after hour.”
She continued: “I know some of you may need more help. And it’s really brave and empowering when you ask for it. From a teacher, from a coach, and from your family. I remember when I reached out for help and it was such a relief.”
According to the Child Mind Institute, 1 in 5 young Americans struggle with a mental health or learning disorder. Additionally, they also estimate that today, 5 in 5 young Americans are feeling increased anxiety, fear, and uncertainty because of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need to open a dialogue with younger people about mental health. Let them know they’re not alone.
Looking for a show to fill the “Jane the Virgin”-shaped hole in your heart? Well, we may have some good news! Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana teamed up on a new series called “The Gordita Chronicles” for HBO Max.
According to Deadline, “The Gordita Chronicles” will a follow a “willful, chubby, 12-year-old Dominican” named Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli. Cucu “struggles to fit into hedonistic 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American dream.”
Zoe Saldana has long been a producer on “The Gordita Chronicles”, while Eva Longoria was recently tapped to direct the pilot episode and executive produce the series.
But these two powerful Latinas aren’t the only ones with their hands on this project. Dominican-American producer and writer, Claudia Forestieri is the brains behind this series.
Forestieri is a former Telemundo reporter who changed tracks and began a career in TV-writing. She has previously written for Latino-centric shows like “Selena: The Series” and “Good Trouble”. Forestieri is a self-described “bilingual & biracial TV writer of Dominican-Italian descent who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami.”
Eva Longoria took to Instagram to express her elation over being involved in such a trailblazing project.
“The Gordita Chronicles” is the perfect-storm of Hollywood Latino talent that have been working to have a project like this greenlit for a long time.
“I’m BEYOND excited & honored to announce my part within this brilliant team of women coming together to create ‘The Gordita Chronicles’,” she wrote. “I’ll be directing the pilot, while working alongside the amazing and talented @claudiforest, @brigliebs, @zoesaldana, and so many more!!”
She ended the statement with a comment and the sad state of Latino representation in Hollywood. “The lack of representation and diversity in Hollywood continues to be a major focus, rightfully so, and I’m so honored to be a part of the change!”
To make things more exciting, they have already found their lead. After an intensive search, producers cast an up-and-coming Afro-Latina child actress named Olivia Goncalves.
Per Deadline: “The Gordita Chronicles centers Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli (Goncalves), a willful 12-year-old Dominican immigrant with a heart of gold. Cucu leaves her home and her parochial school in Santo Domingo to live in Miami and pursue the American Dream during the hedonistic 1980s after her father, a marketing executive with a large airline, gets transferred there.”
The show will focus on Cucu as she “meets head-on the challenges of being an immigrant in a strange new world with humor, bravado and some really bad choices.”
If the synopsis is any indication of the show’s promise, please count us in! This sounds like a heartwarming, unique story that Hollywood doesn’t spotlight often enough. We can’t wait to watch!