Zoe Saldana Was Advised to Change Name for Center Stage

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As Zoe Saldana‘s character said in Center Stage, “I’m not dancing for them anymore. I’m dancing for me.”

And that was the attitude the actress embraced for her big screen debut as Eva Rodriguez in the 2000 ballet film—even after getting some questionable career advice.

“When I did Center Stage, I remember being discouraged by my management at that time to use my name,” Saldana, 43, told Entertainment Weekly in an on-camera interview posted March 11. “But their intention was never for me to stop being who I am. They celebrated who I was.”
 
She continued, “My manager at the time was a former singer and a ballroom performer, and she did change her name as well, when she was a teenager back in the ’60s, I believe. And she said it’s what everybody does. That, today, is advice that we consider poor but that was her doing the best that she wanted for me. But I still knew that I liked my name.”

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