That Time Zoe Saldana Was Called a ‘Difficult Bitch’ for Doing Her Job

It’s hard being a women in the entertainment industry. Just ask Zoe Saldana about it.

Contrary to popular belief, being a female star isn’t about glitz and glam. According to the Star Trek Beyond star, it’s about being steam-rolled by movie bigwigs and fighting to have your voice heard.

In fact, a studio behind one of her films initially denied her request that they cover cost of extra child care she needed in order to put in 15-hour days on set. While male stars received job perks like private jets and luxury trailers, she had to demand for a babysitter for her kids.

“The tone changed in the negotiations. I was starting to feel that I was…difficult,” the mom-of-two told Allure. “[For babysitting to be] considered a perk, or ‘Give this to me; I’m having a diva fit’? No. This is a necessity that you must cover for me in order for me to go and perform my job.”

She continued, “The fact that there are women working in these studios—and they’re the ones [enforcing] these man-made rules. When are we going to learn to stick together?”

“I come from a family of women. Of tough women,” she continued. “Not in a bad way, just resilient, and strong, and determined, and super-opinionated.”

Saldana does admit that she found a lot of support amongst women in Hollywood when she found out she was pregnant with twin boys.

“We were all reaching out to each other,” she recalled. “I got an email from Jessica Alba—who I only know from conversations in the bathroom at events—saying, ‘Hey, congratulations. This is my to-do list of how I did things. Maybe there will be something you can use.'”

“I get emotional because if we continue to do that, we will be unstoppable,” she said, adding that Cindy Crawford also referred her to a doctor. “As opposed to nitpicking at each other for arbitrary things such as weight and hair color and purses. It’s such fucking minutiae when there are bigger issues that we have to be talking about, like equal pay and equal rights.”

CREDIT: Patrick Demarchelier

Still, Saldana admits there are still a lot of obstacles for women — such as being hired just to be eye candy to a film.

“‘I hired you to look good in your underwear holding a gun,'” she remembered a producer telling her. “I was told walking into this project that they really wanted me for the part, and that any input or ideas I had to please share them. That’s what I was doing, and this producer was so bothered by the fact that he had to disrupt his vacation to call me and tell me to stop being a difficult bitch. I thought, Wow, it’s real. It really happens.”

“I have a strong sense of self,” she said. “I have no problem admitting my errors; just have respect for me. If I am just like wallpaper, there’s no need for me to be here.”