Zoe Saldana would watch shows and imagine herself a film star, and today, after nursing her ambition, she has risen to stardom. She may not have the net worth of fellow Latino women like Eva Longoria or Sofia Vergara, but Zoe’s acting skills are unrivaled. Three of the films she has starred in have raked in billions of revenue internationally, which has prompted her fans to wonder why Zoe Saldana’s net worth is only $35 million. We will tell you why it is not much, but let’s first see how she achieved it in the first place.
Catching her lucky break in acting
Zoe aspired to be an actress, inspired by “Nikita,” a series to which she had become addicted. However, her mother was strict with her children, and she wanted them to get an education so they could be independent. Therefore, Zoe had to attend school in the Dominican Republic, where her mother had moved to after Zoe’s father died in an accident; previously, they all lived in Queens, New York.
The actress was an athlete, and she used her flexible body to train as a ballet dancer. She became so good at ballet and modern dance that by the time she was 17, Zoe had already performed with various theater and dance companies. When the family moved back to Queens, Zoe decided it was time to be the captain of her life, thus caught her lucky break by making her debut in “Center Stage” in 2000. Her dancing background enabled her to get the role of a rebellious ballet dancer.
Becoming a renowned actress
Zoe continued to star in films such as “Drumline,” “Guess Who,” and “The Terminal,” but none of them compared to the success she got after she was cast in “Avatar” in 2009 as the female lead, Neytiri. The film remains the highest-grossing at the international box office with revenue of $2.029 billion, not considering the domestic gross. As she told Mail Online, with the success of the film came more work, and her body could barely keep up; she ended up crying in her hotel room as she trained for “Colombiana.”
Still, Zoe was determined to be the best there is. She starred in “Star Trek” and its sequel in 2013, and when it was time for the third installment, the actors of the original film, Zoe included, wanted to be paid more, reasoning that they were stars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount, therefore, gave them a raise and bonuses; the lead actors, Quinton and Pine were paid $6 million and $3 million respectively for ” Star Trek Beyond.” It was a raise from the previous $600,000 for Quinto and $1.5 million for Pine. Although Zoe’s salary is not mentioned, she must also have made a substantial amount.
What is disappointing to her and her fans is that despite her skills, she was paid peanuts. She received $100,000 for her role in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” However, the actress has forged on, and in 2018, she was cast in “Avengers: Infinity War,” where she also was paid a pitiful amount of less than $3 million, which pales in comparison to Scarlett Johansson’s $20 million. Regardless, Zoe still ranks as the second-highest-grossing film actress since the movies she has acted in have grossed over $11 billion worldwide. The main reason for the wage gap is her ethnic background, and most actors of color have walked out of negotiations when they are not paid as much as their white colleagues.
With her prosperity in the film industry, brands were ready to have her on board in promoting their products. Therefore after starring in Avatar, The St. Louis American reported that Zoe was capitalizing on her film’s success with her first major endorsement deal with Avon. Zoe partnered with Avon to come up with a new fragrance, “Eternal Magic,” inspired by Princess Monaco Rose. She was also selected as the new face of the brand’s color cosmetic collection.
The actress also was chosen to be the face of Calvin Klein underwear for their fall 2010 campaign and their Calvin Klein Envy product launch. Zoe was excited to be given that opportunity since it was her first-ever ad campaign. Although the deal’s worth remained undisclosed, we can safely say it must have been in the range of millions. After all, Kate Moss was paid $1.2 million, and Paris Jackson also received a seven-figure amount.
In November 2012, Lenscrafters announced on Facebook that they were teaming up with the actress to promote their myLook campaign. For a company worth over $50 billion, the deal helped Zoe bag a few million dollars. Her ability to get a lucrative contract enabled her to be ranked #1 of the top 10 most valuable celebrity endorsers. AZ Big Media highlighted that Zoe’s high personality scores and exponential social growth facilitated her rise to the top. She was followed closely by Reese Witherspoon and Gabrielle Union.
TV production deal
In 2015, Variety published that Zoe Saldana had struck a deal with Awesomeness TV to produce original content for Awestruck services. Zoe’s production company, Cinestar, would be in charge, with Zoe as the executive producer. She was honored to collaborate with Awesomeness TV since, as she said, they had proven they were capable of reaching young audiences, ideal for Zoe’s content targeting millennial moms.
The contract’s worth was not disclosed, but it should have helped Zoe pocket a few millions of dollars. Executive producers such as J.J. Abram and his wife, Katie, have made lucrative deals with media houses; for instance, they had a five-year agreement with WarnerMedia worth over $250 million. Berlanti, on the other hand, extended his contract through 2024, and it cost Warner Bros television $400 million.
After seeing the discrimination, Zoe also launched her own digital media platform BESE, where she is the founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief. She is committed to seeing it succeed, thus held a competition for social entrepreneurs in which the winner would be awarded $1 million. She said she built the company out of love, not out of frustration of what her fellow women of color go through in the entertainment industry. Zoe confessed her challenge was in raising capital for the business, but now that it is off the ground, Zoe Saldana’s net worth might soon rise.