Zoe Saldana Reveals Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Diagnosis

Star Trek Beyond actress also opens up about the state of women in film

By Zach Johnson Jul 21, 2016 1:57 PMTags
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Zoe Saldana has a condition called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, she reveals in the July 21, 2016, issue of Net-a-Porter's The EDIT. The actress says her mother and sisters suffer from the same autoimmune disease. "Your body doesn't have the energy it needs to filter toxins, causing it to believe that it has an infection, so it's always inflamed," the 38-year-old Star Trek Beyond star tells the publication. "You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean."

To take better care of herself, Saldana—who models designer duds for the fashion magazine's Prince-inspired photo shoot—revamped her diet. Now, both she and husband Marco Perego are gluten- and dairy-free. "I had a great time in my twenties. Then your doctor says you're losing calcium in your bones. What the f--k is that?! I would hear those conversations with my mom and grandma, thinking I'd never get there," Saldana recalls. "'I'm going to live forever!'"

"But all of a sudden it hits you," she adds. "I s--t you not, it's from night to day."

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Saldana needs her energy, too. After Star Trek Beyond hits theaters Friday, she has three more Avatar films in the pipeline, plus Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 and Ben Affleck's Live by Night. More often than not, Saldana has been vastly outnumbered by her male co-stars. But the tide is turning, she says. "As women in positions of power, we have to use it to help other women. I got used to being the only girl in the room. Look at The Losers, look at Star Trek...It's lonely!" the actress admits. "I couldn't care less about male-driven stories and war movies, not because I'm not an intellectual individual, but because I want to know what's happening to a woman."

But, she says, change is not up to actresses alone. "The responsibility can't only fall on women in the public eye. The audience has the power. They are the ones buying the tickets to all these man-made movies. There are films being made by female directors, by female writers, with lead female roles, but women are not going to those movies," she explains. "We're going with our boyfriends to hold their f--king hands to go see a movie that we couldn't care less about!"

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The Sony hack in 2014 revealed that, by and large, actresses earn less money than their male counterparts. Jennifer Lawrence later wrote an op-ed about the gender pay gap for Lena Dunham's Lenny newsletter, and now Saldana and her peers are ready to take what's theirs. "The high road is no longer silent," she tells The EDIT. "The high road is speaking up and saying, 'You're a dick! What you are doing is unfair. I'm not asking you to idolize me, I'm asking you to pay me equally, because you always come to me whenever you need me for a press tour!'"

Saldana isn't just speaking up for her own benefit, either. "I learned early on that in order for me to be OK, I need to surround myself with better people than me. I'm not being hard on myself; I'm being honest with myself. I have the tendency to get lost in whatever environment I create for myself," she says. "And I'm an artist; I'm prone to vanity. So I look to better people than me—my husband, my sisters, my parents and my friends. And I'm like, as long as I'm surrounded by you people, every time I want to go shallow, you guys always remind me that it's not about me."

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