Zoe Saldana says it took her "many years" to learn to say no.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana

The 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star admits it took her some time to realise the importance of declining opportunities as much as accepting them.

Speaking in her YouTube series, Rosé Round Table with Zoe Saldana, she said: "As women, we have to learn to feel extremely comfortable with the word 'no.' The word 'no' is the most positive term we will ever know as a woman because the moment you wake up as a woman ... you're going to deal with so many more obstacles than man will deal with on an average basis.

"So if you're not comfortable with the word 'no' you're going to become a very unhappy individual. It took me many years, in my profession, to learn to say 'no' not based on privilege, based on principle."

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old actress - who has 22-month-old twins Cy and Bowie with her husband Marco Perego - previously admitted she "cried every day" when she went back to work after having her children.

She said: "The first week back at work, I think I cried every day in my trailer. But I remember as soon as they would tell me 'We're ready for you on set,' I would still skip to set. I love what I do. You do need to rest, you do need to have a moment to yourself, but right now this is my life as I know it.

"They're 20 months old, and they're starting to feel my absence. They still don't really have an accurate concept of time, but they're becoming a little anxious. And that's when you ask people, you ask a therapist 'Is this normal?' You read books, you go on Google ... But I always explain to them that I come and I go, but Mama has to work. I also make sure that they see me happy when they come visit me at work - they need me to lead by example."

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