Genre movies have always been looked down upon by a certain subset of industry people. There is a reason why most of your favorite science fiction and fantasy movies don’t walk away with Best Picture Oscars. There are people that not only look down on the people who watch these movies but the people making them — right down to the actors involved. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past; the minute you sign up to be a superhero, you shouldn’t be invited to the cool parties, as some think. But Zoe Saldana, who has made her career in science fiction and comic book films, has some choice words to say to people with that mindset in a new interview in Net-a-Porter:
“I’ve been in rooms with people in this industry who are great at what they do, but they’re absolutely elitist and they look down at movies like the Marvel films or actors like myself. They think we’re selling out in some way. Every time they speak I feel so disappointed in them, because whenever you see pictures of people in this industry who donate their time to children in need, it’s these actors that live in the world that you feel is selling out. It’s these actors that understand the role that they play inspires a five-year-old who has one dying wish to meet a superhero. That actor takes time out of their life and sits down with that five-year-old and says, ‘I see you, I hear you, and you matter.’
Saldana goes on to say it doesn’t really matter what people think of her, but the minute you diss a superhero is the minute you tell a child that the thing they care about doesn’t matter.
Those elitists should be a little more cognizant about what playing a superhero means to a young child. Because you’re not just dissing me, you’re dissing what that child considers important in their world. I feel so proud to be living in space, to be playing green and blue aliens, to inspire, primarily, the younger generations. I remember what it was like to be young and to feel completely excluded out of the mainstream conversation of life because I was just little and unimportant and ‘other’.”
These movies are largely made for a younger audience no matter how much adults enjoy them, and it’s important for kids to know that the media they consume isn’t inconsequential. Saldana goes on to talk about how the people she has worked with in genre filmmaking are outsiders who had to craft their own worlds.
“I work with filmmakers who gravitated to this genre because they were exiles in their own right, excluded from a mainstream conversation. They found their world and they were able to imagine the unimaginable. Everything about how they create, and how they invite characters to join them, is absolutely inclusive.”
Saldana seems to understand that just because Marvel movies are basically two-hour toy commercials doesn’t mean they can’t have a positive impact on a someone’s life. If you ask any kid who was into Transformers what it was like seeing Optimus Prime die, they’ll give you a lengthy conversation about how it destroyed them. The intent of that movie was to sell toys, but that doesn’t make the emotional reaction any less valid. If a kid cries when their favorite character dies in Infinity War and it touches them in an important and profound way, then that media is important regardless of what the elites think.
Summary: As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Anthony Mackie. It will be released on April 27th.