Zoe Saldaña: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Set Was a Bad Experience, Producer Jerry Bruckheimer Apologized Years Later

Zoe Saldaña is no stranger to blockbuster movie sets as the star of mega-franchises such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Star Trek” and “Avatar,” but that wasn’t always the case. The actor was a newcomer to the tentpole world when she got cast opposite Johnny Depp in the original “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, starring as the pirate smuggler Anamaria. Saldaña told Entertainment Weekly that she did not have good experience on the set of her first studio tentpole.

“It was my first exposure to a major Hollywood mega movie, where there were just so many actors and so many producers and so many crew members,” Saldaña said. “We were shooting in different locations, and the environments were not that agreeable, sometimes, to our shoot days. I was very young, and it was just a little too big for me, and the pace of it was a little too fast.”

Saldaña continued, “I walked away not really having a good experience from it overall. I felt like I was lost in the trenches of it a great deal, and I just didn’t feel like that was okay.”

“Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer must have caught wind of Saldaña’s tough experience after the fact, as years later he issued a personal apology to her.

“Years later, I was able to meet with Jerry Bruckheimer, who apologized that I had that experience cause he really wants everyone to have a good experience on his projects,” Saldaña’ said. “That really moved me — the fact that he remembered that I had mentioned that during press, I guess, or an engagement I had done years before and that he felt compelled to bring it up and to take accountability.”

Saldaña concluded by saying that “it means so much” to “feel seen and heard as an artist or even just as a person.” Next up for the actor is a return to her two biggest franchises: The long-awaited “Avatar” sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” opens in theaters Dec. 16, while her third and final “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie will hit theaters in May 2023.

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