I have had the pleasure of interviewing Zoe Saldana multiple times and every single time, she never ceases to amaze me. Our latest interview was for her role as Maya in Maya and the Three that is now available on Netflix.

Maya and the Three Fun Facts

  • Jorge Gutierrez was the reason she wanted to work on this project. In fact, he asked her at the Book of Life Premiere “that if he invited me to another adventure, would I join him, and I said absolutely yes.”
  • Zoe found herself getting emotional when her character would say ““If it is to be, it is up to me.”She said “I was living a parallel life with Maya where she’s just saying it and not believing in it. But challenge after challenge, after she survives that challenge and now she’s faced with another one, and how that phrase just would take a deeper and deeper meaning for her, it was also becoming very deep for me.”
  • Her thoughts on the show, “This show is not–it’s not light. It’s going to go there on all these emotions and all these peaks and valleys of life.”
  • Zoe says that “…Maya is loud and she’s proud and she’s feisty and she’s in your face. You know what I mean? And she makes these mistakes out loud. And I feel like everything about Maya is undeniably female and all woman.”
  • When further describing Maya, she said “She is sassy. She is independent. She is very wholesome. Even at 15, she knows who she is. And I just love that about people. Every now and then you meet people at whatever age, even when they’re, like, six months old and you’re like, “You know who you are. You know exactly who you are.” Their personality is just there, you know?
  • That’s exactly how Jorge wanted her, and I think that she is a combination of all these women, these female heroines in Jorge’s life, from his mom and his wife and his sister.”
  • Growing up Zoe’s idols were “…Whoopi Goldberg, Sigourney Weaver, and Linda Hamilton, and I would watch their movies over and over again. I did not want to be the princess. I wanted to be the queen. I wanted to be the warrior, but I want to do it in space and I wanted to fight aliens.”
  • Now that she is a mom, the types of roles she takes on has changed some and means so much more. “…When films like Star Trek and filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and James Cameron for Avatar approach me and they invite me to be a part of their world — their world is the funnest world in the world. You know what I mean? I worked with Steven Spielberg, with all these people that gave themselves the permission to imagine the unimaginable. And here they were, looking at this little girl from Queens, and I fit in that world for them. That is what gave me that affirmation that who I am and what I like in life means something. People of my likeness will see it. I guess now that I’m a mother, my goal is to continue doing that, but to add representation…”
  • When thinking about the children of color will take away from watching a character that represents them in the show, Zoe said “I get emotional because it’s important for children of color to know that they matter, that their stories matter, that their history matters, and that nobody has to give you that anymore. It’s yours. It’s always been yours.”

About Maya and the Three

In a fantastical world, where magic turns the world and four kingdoms rule the lands, a brave and rebellious warrior princess named Maya is about to celebrate her fifteenth birthday and coronation. But everything changes when the gods of the underworld arrive and announce that Maya’s life is forfeit to the God of War — a price she must pay for her family’s secret past. If Maya refuses, the whole world will suffer the gods’ vengeance. To save her beloved family, her friends, and her own life, Maya embarks on a thrilling quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy that foretells the coming of three great warriors who will help her defeat the gods and save humankind.

Maya and the Three premieres globally on Netflix on October 22, 2021.