Zoe Saldana worried doing too many sci-fi films would harm her career.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana

The 38-year-old actress was initially reluctant to take on the role of Gamora in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' because she feared being pigeonholed after starring in 'Star Trek' and 'Avatar' but felt she'd miss out on something "special" if she turned down the part.

She said: "I don't know how to say no to these filmmakers. First I booked 'Avatar', and as I was shooting that, J.J. Abrams was getting ready to do 'Star Trek'. And those collaborations got the attention of ['Guardians' director] James Gunn.

"I really didn't want to say yes because this was the third sci-fi film I'd be doing, and I was afraid it might not be great for my career.

"But I got the sense that I would be missing out on something so incredibly special that I said yes."

The brunette beauty credits her sci-fi success to her ballet training, as it meant she was physically capable of what director James Cameron needed for 'Avatar'.

She said: "I think I would have never booked 'Avatar' if it weren't for my ballet background. The actress James Cameron wanted was physically able. I thank God for something like ballet, which gave that space for me to be by myself and find peace. Ballet was my meditation, my therapy, my escape, my answer."

Zoe is proud that her 'Guardians' character and Gamora's sister Nebula - who is played by Karen Gillan - are strong characters in their own right and think it's important women aren't always relegated to supporting players.

She told Gulf News: "It feels wonderful. It feels like that's the way films should be, with more of a female presence. Give them a story, give them their own arc. And it felt great to balance off of a woman and play a sister. I'm one of three sisters, and that's a topic I feel strongly about."

But the actress doesn't row with her siblings in the same way Nebula and Gamora do.

She added: "We have a production company called Cinestar Pictures. We work together, we collaborate together. When you're busy doing all of those things, you don't have time to quarrel."

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk