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“I got too spooked”: Zoe Saldana Turned Down Taylor Sheridan Because Of Her Shared Disability With Tom Cruise Before Accepting The Challenge To Prove Herself

Zoe Saldana Turned Down Taylor Sheridan Because Of Her Shared Disability With Tom Cruise Before Accepting The Challenge To Prove Herself

With much appreciation for his writing on one side and a little bit of criticism for male-dominated stories on another, Sheridan looked to change that with Angelina Jolie in the Netflix thriller – Those Who Wish Me Dead back in 2021.

Since his Sicario (2015) days, Taylor Sheridan has driven himself into the limelight by writing gripping stories that incorporate neo-noir and Western influences.

Taylor Sheridan
Taylor Sheridan

Sheridan, during the sequel – Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) realized that his knack for writing can truly shine on TV. His decision to start with Kevin Costner-led Yellowstone is a prime example of that.

After back-to-back hits, like – Mayor of Kingstown and Tulsa King, Sheridan is back with a much-needed powerful female-led series with Marvel Studios star Zoe Saldana as the lead, alongside Nicole Kidman and heavyweight Morgan Freeman.

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Read more: “You can’t make that sh-t up”: Taylor Sheridan Nearly Got Robert Redford for Yellowstone After HBO Refused to Cast Kevin Costner

Zoe Saldana Initially Turned Down Special Ops: Lioness

Despite her performance as the strong-willed Nyota Uhura in Star Trek (2009) and as Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar, Saldana has been highly introspective about her talent.

According to the actor, Taylor Sheridan wasn’t interested in a rejection, but she rejected the part anyway as she felt a hard persuasion by him.

Stills from Special Ops Lioness
Stills from Special Ops Lioness

Sheridan flew Saldana and her husband to Yellowstone set –

“There was a lot of wine, a lot of food, a lot of Taylor, and a lot of me. I don’t know if I can work with Taylor Sheridan because maybe Taylor and I are the same person,” said Saldana to Entertainment Tonight.

Zoe Saldana, having no experience with TV shows, also added that she felt the intense burden of carrying a series being the pivotal character. But, this was not the only reason.

Read more: “Had enough Gamora. Boring character. Adios”: Zoe Saldana Admits Gamora Will Friendzone Star-Lord in Future MCU, Fans Have Had Enough

Zoe Saldana Took On The Role Despite Her Disability

Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Saldana finds it difficult to level with her co-stars when she is given brief dialogues as she suffers from Dyslexia.

Sheridan had approached the actor a year ago about the role but didn’t disclose that he had written the character uniquely for her. 

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana

“It scared me that he had written this with me in mind. I got too spooked,” said Saldana. “Taylor writes a lot of dialogue for his characters, these long speeches. I’m dyslexic, and, English is not my first language. It took me a year to accept the challenge.”

Zoe Saldana will be seen following the journey of her character Joe, who, according to the premise, is training a marine recruit played by Laysla De Oliveira in extracting information from terrorists’ families and vulnerable people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Suggested: “There’s definitely some ego to all of this”: Kevin Costner Allegedly Got Frustrated by Yellowstone Creator Taylor Sheridan’s God Complex After Years of Getting Ignored by Hollywood

Inspired by the actual United States’ Lioness program, Special Ops: Lioness premiered on July 23 on Paramount+. 

Source: ET Online


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Written by Ojaswi Chaudhary

Extremely passionate about a great story since the little guy was 8. He has lived through nothing short of almost 300 of Hollywood's finest pieces of work, and is now creating some of his own here at FandomWire. He loves to make time for a good book and a good meal.