Zoe Saldana, a proud mother of twins and an American of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, spoke on the issue of raising multicultural children in a on Thursday.
Saldana, who married Italian artist Marco Perego in 2013, gave birth to twin boys in 2014.
“It is a necessity for us to raise our children with our roots so that they can communicate with their grandparents, but also so that they can create some kind of empathy for human beings that do not look like them, and do not sound like them and do not smell like them,” the Avatar star said.
The actress appeared in the video with her sisters, Mariel and Cisely, and friends, having a conversation over dinner about the importance of their multicultural upbringings.
Saldana recalled when she was in her early 20s and vowed to speak to her children in Spanish after her sister gave birth to her first child.
“We had made all these promises when we were growing up as first generation Latinas that we’d speak Spanish the way we spoke Spanish,” she said. “But, you don’t realize as you’re saying ‘we’re gonna speak Spanish,’ you’re not saying ‘vamos hablar español.'”
The main topic of conversation was roots but as Saldana pointed out, the recurring theme at dinner was “world.”
“It’s very important for you to seek the world, to want to know what’s out there besides the comfort of your block,” she said.
Despite discussions of honoring her diverse roots, the mother of two noted she yearned for America whenever she traveled abroad for long periods of time.
“America still holds the first spot in my heart,” she said. “I love going back to all the routes that we are from, from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, going back to the Middle East. Knowing about our cultures in Africa and everything, but there’s something about landing through JFK, landing through LAX, that I just feel safe.”
Saldana’s next film Live by Night will be released in January, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters in May.