Women in Motion with Zoe Saldana - The 77th Annual Cannes Film Festival©GettyImages
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Zoe Saldaña discusses being dyslexic and pursuing art that scares her

She was a speaker at Cannes‘ Kering Women in Motion panel, discussing topics like gender equality and her journey with acting.

Zoe Saldaña has crafted one of the strongest and steadiest careers in Hollywood. The actress has been involved with numerous lucrative franchises, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to the Avatar films. In an appearance on Kering’s Women in Motion program at the Cannes Film Festival, Saldaña opened up about her expertise in the industry, discussing gender equality and how she’s handled her dyslexia when learning scripts.

"Emilia Perez" Photocall - The 77th Annual Cannes Film Festival©GettyImages
Saldaña at Cannes Film Festival

Saldaña opened up about her tendencies to self-sabotage and how her anxiety at times limits her career choices. When discussing the TV series “Special Ops: Lioness,” Saldaña revealed that she had to pursue the part even if she was afraid to do so because of the challenges it would put on her disability and the obstacles that she’d built up in her mind.

“[Manager] Rick [Yorn] is like, ‘You’re doing it?’ And I’m like, ‘No.’ Like, ‘You’re doing it!‘” she said. Despite the fact that she loved the work of Taylor Sheridan, the series’ writer, she found herself trying to ruin her own opportunity due to anxiety.

“You have to follow good material wherever good material is. But it’s my fear because I know that [Sheridan] has big monologues with his characters. I’m dyslexic. Spanish is my first language. Taylor shared his material. I saw ‘Sicario’ and ‘Hell or High Water.’ Like, I love his work. So, I couldn’t pass,” she continued.

"Emilia Perez" Photocall - The 77th Annual Cannes Film Festival©GettyImages
Selena Gomez, Saldaña, and Karla Sofia Gascon.

Saldaña’s opinion on gender equality

In the panel, the women also addressed the complex topic of gender equality. “We need more female CEOs. We need more women sitting on boards. Because those are the gatekeepers,” said Saldaña. “We need the keys that unlock those doors. And once those women are there, don’t just be happy and feel so lucky that you’re the only woman sitting at the table. Get three men to get up.”

Saldaña premiered her film “Emilia Perez” on Cannes, which was met with a long standing ovation from the audience. The film co-stars Edgar Ramirez, Selena Gomez, and Karla Sofia Gascon.

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