Why Zoe Saldana Had A Bad Experience Filming Pirates Of The Caribbean

Despite the glitz and the glamor associated with the job, being an actor is hard. Even today's most renowned stars have admitted to almost quitting Hollywood altogether, especially after going through unfortunate experiences on set.

For instance, "The Fast and the Furious" star Michelle Rodriguez almost walked away from the franchise after her character Letty was initially written to be involved in a love triangle with Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto and Paul Walker's Brian O'Conner. "[The filmmakers] just followed the format without thinking about the reality of it. Is it realistic for a Latin girl who's with the alpha-est of the alpha males to cheat on him with the cute boy? I had to put my foot down," she told Daily Beast in a 2015 interview. "I basically cried and said, 'I'm going to quit' and, 'Don't sue me, please — I'm sorry, but I can't do this in front of millions of people.'"

Meanwhile, Mark Ruffalo almost turned his back on "13 Going On 30" because he hated the scene where they had to dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." "[Jennifer Garner] had to drag me onto the dance floor," Ruffalo told Fox 5. "It took me six hours to learn what she learned in about six minutes. She was so good at dancing and I was so bad," he recalled. "I almost quit the movie."

But there are also times when actors are pushed to the brink of quitting because of a hostile work environment. Such was the case with Zoe Saldana on "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Zoe Saldana was treated horribly by the Pirates crew

Zoe Saldana was only 23 years old when she got the opportunity to work on a big-ticket project like the "Pirates of the Caribbean." But she said that her experience was so awful that it made her think twice about continuing to work in the industry.

"Those weren't the right people for me," she said of her co-workers, clarifying that she wasn't referring to her fellow actors. "I'm not talking about the cast. The cast was great. I'm talking about the political stuff that went on behind closed doors. It was a lot of above-the-line versus below-the-line, extras versus actors, producers versus PAs. It was very elitist," she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. Since she was a newbie at the time, she said was made to feel insignificant. "I almost quit the business. I was 23 years old, and I was like, "F*** this!" I am never putting myself in this situation again. People disrespecting me because they look at my number on a call sheet and they think I'm not important."

Saldana never reprised her role as Anamaria, and in an interview with Cosmopolitan, she admitted to having parted ways with the project with ill feelings. "I left that experience feeling a little bitter," she said, describing it as "super elitist." While filming, she confessed that she couldn't help but feel like she could be doing something better. "If I'm like 'I could have been with my family, in school ... but instead I'm here being treated like an extra, but in a very despicable way by people who don't even speak properly.'"

A certain director changed Zoe Saldana's perspective

It didn't take long for Zoe Saldana to book another project. She told Cosmopolitan that she got cast in Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal" alongside Tom Hanks "Pirates of the Caribbean," and per the star, the director went the extra mile to make her feel valued.

"I booked 'The Terminal' right after so I got to work for an amazing director who is known for being humble and a mentor," she told the outlet, adding that working with him was a stark contrast to her unfortunate "Pirates" experience. "He remembered that I'd been made to feel so irrelevant before and he went out of his way to make me feel the exact opposite."

Saldana says she has always been strong-willed, and that she has her mother to thank for that. The actor said that it was her mom who had always reminded her to stand up for herself. "She was always reminding me that I mattered," she told CNBC. "She was like, 'Don't forget about you. Don't forget about your happiness. Don't forget about your beauty. Don't forget about your opinion.'" And while she already made it big, she still sometimes encounters situations where she's belittled, but she faces them all "with kindness and respect and patience, because my mother repeatedly reminded me that I mattered."