Zoe Saldana has praised filmmakers James Cameron and J.J. Abrams for creating strong female characters in their films.
The Guardians of the Galaxy star has worked with Cameron on Avatar and Abrams on Star Trek Into Darkness and she explains the roles have given her more power in Hollywood.
"If I wasn't doing these sci-fi movies, I would be at the mercy of filmmakers that would just look my way if they need a girlfriend or sexy woman of colour in their movie," she tells CNET.com. "But we can still do better. We can still give women more weight to carry in their roles."
The 37-year-old explains the directors she has worked with take time to carve out the roles of females in their films and present them in a way that is true to women.
"James Cameron is one of those rare men in the film industry that really isn't threatened by women," she says. "He lets you know with the characters he creates that he does spend time thinking about why women are who they are, why they think the way they do. He is aware of the sacrifices and how hard-working women can be..."
Turning to J.J. Abrams, she adds, "Look at the role he created in the new Star Wars (movie). It's through the eyes of a female and we're not gonna compromise the strength of the movie. We're not gonna compromise her bravery..."
"Filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and James Cameron - they're practising what they preach, and they're having their art imitate the life that they see and the utopia they would like to bring to life," she adds. "And they let you be as collaborative, as suggestive, as opinionated, as passionate... I don't work to make friends; I don't work to be liked. I work to bring a character to life, to walk away not feeling that I'm a disappointment in myself."