The 33-year-old upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness actress, tells why it’s not all glitz and glam in her world as an actress. She talks about her upbringing as a Domincan woman, learning how to not need a man, and those hateful criticsms about her taking on the role of Nina Simone for the legend’s bipic.
On Whether the Nina Simone Controversy Affected Her: “Yes, of course. I’m not made of metal. Things will resonate in you and they will move you whether good or bad, but you can’t let that define who you are and you can’t let that dictate the path that you’re going to take in your life. The reality is that nobody knows the story as to why this collaboration came to be—nobody knows the full story—and at the end of the day all I’m going to say is that every person that is a part of this project came together for no other reason than the unconditional love for Nina Simone’s music, her persona, her life, what she did, what she left for us, what her music still continues to do not only to women, but to Americans, and African Americans, and also people of color, just everything. On all spectrums, Nina Simone’s story is worth telling and with the members that it came to be, like it’s just…you have to give it a chance…Watch it and then make up your mind. I’m happy that we all held together and we went for it. No regrets.”
On Her Color-Blind Upbringing: “I grew up in Queens and the Dominican Republic. It wasn’t easy, s*** was going on. But the kind of world that we had indoors, that my mom created for us, makes more sense to this day than what is out there. I would come home from school and go, ‘Mami, what am I? You know, cause I’m getting all kinds of things and people are mean.’ And Mami would look at me and go, ‘You’re Zoe.’ And I’d go, ‘I know, Mami, but what am I?’ and she would look at me and say, ‘You’re my daughter, your grandma’s granddaughter, you’re Zoe.’ My mom wouldn’t go, ‘tu eres una mujer de color and always remember it, this world is going to be rough.’ My mom never f****** told us that, why would she? Why would she stop my flight before I even take off?”
On Wanting (Not Needing) A Man: “I don’t want to need things. I need water, you know what I’m saying? I need to exercise, I need to eat. To be with a man, should be a want. I don’t need anybody. And the people that I do need are just family, tu entiendes? But a man is something that I want, I want be with a partner, because this partner is going to add or I’m going to add to this partner.”
On Overcoming heartbreak: I feel it. I allow myself to feel it. Of course everyone around me will notice how it made me feel, but I tend to recover very easily. When I lose, when my heart is broken, when I lose a competition, when I don’t get something, when something doesn’t go my way or I have a hearbreak or whatever, maybe it’s just the kind of person that I am, or maybe I haven’t really fallen in love yet, had that crash boom bam in my life yet, but I tend to recover, you know, healthy and smoothly. And I’ve been that way up until now. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
See who Zoe is wearing: