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    Zoë Saldana Discusses Her Marriage to Marco Perego, Shares Biggest Lesson She's Learned From Love

    Zoe Saldana, Marie Claire Boe Marion/Marie Claire

    It's been about a year since Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego secretly tied the knot in England. While the couple's sudden union surprised some, it made perfect sense to the 36-year-old Guardians of the Galaxy actress. "I don't do the ABCs. I do what my heart says, what my heart feels," Saldana explains in Marie Claire's August 2014 issue. "So from the moment I met my husband, we were together. We knew."

    Saldana, whose exes include Keith Britton and Bradley Cooper, realized it was important "not to settle."

    "If you're not happy with a person, leave," she advises. "And wait until you find that one person who makes you feel good about yourself every single day and is not expecting you to change, but to grow."

    Without naming names, Saldana says she's no longer in touch with her former flames. "I have been in relationships where a man has disrespected me, and I don't need to be friends with that man anymore. I don't want to be the one going, 'I'm cool, because I'm friends with all my exes.' There's a reason why you're called an ex. I crossed you off my list. Moving on," she says. "You cross a line, you need to know that you're going to walk this earth knowing that there's an individual who has no respect for you."

    Still, Saldana and Cooper are prominent players in Guardians of the Galaxy—and yes, they're friendly.

    NEWS: Why Zoë Saldana wed just months after breaking up with Bradley Cooper

    Zoe Saldana, Marie Claire Boe Marion/Marie Claire

    Saldana is known for playing empowered lead characters, and she hopes to continue that tradition.

    "I would love to play Nefertiti or Cleopatra or the Queen of Sheba," she reveals. "We preserve more male history than we do female. We have to preserve it. No more complaining. We have to do it."

    There's a reason Saldana is drawn to strong women. Describing herself as an "iron-fisted lady" and a woman who "will not take any bulls--t," she says her teen years in the Dominican Republic informed the woman she is today. "I had many female bullies growing up who wanted us to be submissive and to follow and to kiss ass," the possibly pregnant star explains, "and that's the last thing any Saldana will ever do, honestly."

    You tell 'em, girl!

    PHOTOS: Fashion spotlight on Zoë Saldana