Zoe Saldana: 5 Breakout Roles That Made Her A Star

Zoe Saldana is an American actor who is perhaps best known for her role as Uhura in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise. She began her career with a guest spot on television before finding parts in mainstream movies. Now an international celebrity, she paid her dues in becoming one of modern cinema’s most popular stars. Today’s Here’s 5 are breakout roles for Zoe Saldana.

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Crossroads (2002)

DIRECTOR: Tamra Davis     STARS: Britney Spears, Taryn Manning
Three high school girls dig up a "wish" box they buried years earlier and decide to follow through on their dreams, which sees them head to Los Angeles for a record contract audition. Along the way, they reconnect their old friendship and discover much about each other's true passions. Starring pop sensation Britney Spears, the movie was trounced by critics but fans made it a box office hit. Saldana, in one of her first films, shines as Kit, the popular kid at school who has some demons of her own. A sugary-sweet pop music video hiding as a full-length movie, it's mostly forgettable save for the effortless charms of Zoe Saldana.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

DIRECTOR: Gore Verbinski     STARS: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom
In a gamble that paid of big for Disney, they made a pirate movie that was actually a success and had its star Johnny Depp creating Captain Jack Sparrow, perhaps his most iconic character. With a big cast and epic scope, Saldana manages to take a small part and give it some punch (or rather slap), playing Anamaria, a female pirate whose boat Sparrow "borrowed" and sank. She later joins up with Sparrow in his first adventure to find the Black Pearl. A brief but very memorable bit.

The Terminal (2003)

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg     STARS: Tom Hanks, Cathrine Zeta-Jones
After Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) lands at JFK International Airport, he discovers that while in flight, his country's government collapses and he officially has no country of origin and therefore can't leave the terminal. Saldana plays Dolores Torres, an immigration officer and Star Trek fan who Navorski befriends as he attempts to help Enrique (Diego Luna), a food service attendant, get a date with her. A breathlessly charming role, Saldana is radiant in this small but touching part.

Guess Who (2005)

DIRECTOR: Kevin Rodney Sullivan     STARS: Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac
Remakes are part and parcel for any Hollywood star and here it's a redo of the classic 1967 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, though switching thing around a bit. It stars Ashton Kutcher as a young man trying to win the approval of his girlfriend's (Saldana) father, played by Bernie Mac. A few good laughs makes this a serviceable comedy, but as always, it is Saldana who makes this easy to watch, with good humor and a sweet performance. It was clear she was about to become a big star.

Vantage Point (2008)

DIRECTOR: Pete Travis     STARS: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox
Talk about a clever idea broken in execution, this film follows an attempted assassination on the President of the United States (William Hurt), playing out many different points of view in this political action thriller. Saldana plays GNN (ha) reporter Angie Jones in a small put important role in an ensemble cast. She doesn't get much screen time but when she's on, she is naturally memorable and her presence lingers throughout the film. A year later she became a household name playing Uhura on Star Trek.
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