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Zoe Saldana is on a roll. After starring in the wildly successful film, Avatar, the Afro-Latina actress is gearing up for her leading role in the highly anticipated film, Colombiana. As she preps to finally step completely into the mainstream stoplight, the Saldana took some time to reflect on her successes and challenges over the past few years.

Saldana, who is Dominican and Puerto Rican, covers the September issue of Latina and talks about nearly breaking down, how she handles the spotlight, and the key to her successful 12-year relationship with her beau.

Check out a few excerpts from the article:

On dealing with her newfound fame:

“The year after Avatar was just emotionally overwhelming. I was traveling all over the world, waking up in different time zones. Your body gets exhausted, and by the end of the year I just collapsed.”

On coming close to a total breakdown:

“I was in Paris training for Colombiana, sitting in my hotel room, and I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stay awake. I must have slept for an entire month. It took me the rest of the year, even as I was working and shooting Colombiana, to pick myself up. Thank God my family was there.”

On the post-Avatar effect:

“I just want the best filmmakers in the world to tell me, ‘You’re good, kid, you’re legit.’ The recognition will never get old, and I’ll never get accustomed to it. I don’t ever want to, because that will mean I’m taking it for granted. That’s why I work, not for the luxuries or the awards.”

On the simple joys of life:

“I just stay at home and do absolutely nothing. When I was younger, that would have made me feel like such a failure. Now that I’m older, I know what it means to shut down. I don’t shower if I don’t want to. I don’t answer e-mails. It’s a healthy way of being selfish. You know you’re old when gardening, the Food Network and voice notes from your nieces and nephews blow your mind.”

On her small circle of friends:

“If you surround yourself with good people, if you’re having a bad day – which everyone does – they will protect you, and it will never reach any kind of surface. But if you surround yourself with people who don’t really love you and care for you, they’ll be the first ones to expose you. That’s dangerous.”

On the key to her 12-year relationship with actor Keith Britton: “I think the only reason we’ve made it this long is because we don’t listen to anybody but ourselves. We’ve still managed to sustain a relationship in a world where half of the people we know are divorcing or going through problems. It’s like that song we both love by Frank Sinatra – we did it our way!”

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  • Jean Pierre

    what do you think of zoe saldana’s no black love interest claus?out side of drumline when she was just glad to get in a movie, and star trek where her love interest wasnt even human, zoe saldana at this point only has white love interest in movies. even in a movie thats coming out, death at a funeral, with a mostly black cast, she has a white boyfriend, and is cheating on him with a white guy. is this wrong for someone to do, or no big deal since its just some movies?Honestly, it’s on her. She’s made it clear she isn’t “Black”, doesn’t want to be associated with anything “Black” so the ball is in her court.