Zoe Saldana made the transition to acting on screen after an attention-getting performance in the stage musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Saldana began landing television and feature roles almost immediately, including "Center Stage" (2000), in which she was able to showcase her years of ballet training.
She did make fleeting appearances in large studio fare like "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003) and "The Terminal" (2004). Eventually, Saldana managed to break free from the confines of broad comedy.
Saldana and her two sisters were raised by their parents in nearby Queens, NY. When she was nine, Saldana's father died in a car accident, forcing her mother to relocate the family to the Dominican Republic, where both her parents were born and had extended family.
A natural and charismatic performer, she joined several dance troops in New York City, including the FACES Theater Co., a group that specialized in improvisational and educational skits for teens. She was also part of the New York Youth Theater.