Zoe for Campari - The Legend Of Red Hand

Sunday, March 04, 2018

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What to do as an encore after Clive Owen's film noir Killer in Red premiered in Rome? Clearly little sleep was lost by the Campari team who returned to Campari's birthplace, Milan, signed actress Zoe Saldana and pulled off yet another standing ovation!

The Legend of Red Hand is a mystery story that starts at dusk underneath the Duomo Cathedral, moments away from the Camparino bar in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, in homage to the founders of Campari. The protagonist of the story is Mia Parc (juggle the letters of her name and, surprise, you'll get Campari!), a celebrated photographer intrigued by the figure of Red Hand.

The buzz is palpable as SO approaches the opulent Rosa Grand fifth floor suite. Handlers are out and in abundance — yes, the clipboards are there, too. A world away on the other side of the expansive living area, feet curled up on an ample sofa and looking even more petite than her on-screen persona, is the star of Campari Red Diaries — The Legend of Red Hand Zoe Saldana. Comfy-chic in leather pants and a lace and cotton top, there are no Hollywood diva vibes. We reckon her family roots — Dominican, Puerto Rican, Lebanese and Haitian — make it that much easier to stay grounded.

To say that she is a natural beauty is an understatement. She is also really nice and blushes like a new bride as she tells us how blessed she feels to be married to an Italian [her husband is the Italian artist Marco Perego], to be a mother of three boys, to have help raising her children while being an in-demand actress.

The Star Trek Beyond star is frank as she tells us about the call to star in the Campari short film The Legend of Red Hand. “I was happy that it was more than a calendar... the fact that it was a short film certainly piqued my interest. With Stefano Sollima as the director and Adriano Giannini as the lead it became a no-brainer. It also afforded me yet another opportunity to visit my husband's country, learn more about its culture, and what can I say about the shoot locations, Il Duomo, La Scala, Vittorio Emanuele? Being part of a campaign that not only has a great legacy, but for a brand with such rich, iconic heritage it's always such a pleasure, particularly with a partner like Campari who recognise that behind a great cocktail there is a great bartender and without the participation of amazing hands, the ingredients wouldn't quite live up to their fullest potential... I was fortunate too, to have my husband on set”.

The actress sounds off on the #metoomovement. “I'm delighted that as women we are finally able to bond. That we have something that unites us. I mean you go to the awards shows and we are divided by colour, by the awards that we may or may not have. Our successes, our failures. There is no divisiveness. We are finally united around a common cause.” Saldana reaches for her iPhone and searches for a quote from activist and actress Amandla Stenberg, who famously walked away from the casting process in Black Panther when she realised it was better suited for darker-skinned actors of colour. She finds it. “Black girl magic is a radiant revolution against misogynoir — misogyny directed towards Black women — and internalised hatred. Black women are subject to so many societal messages that tell them that they are not beautiful, smart or capable. Black Girl Magic is the conscious unravelling of those toxic concepts through self-love and acceptance. It preaches that despite the pressures I face, I glow more than ever before.”

No stranger to Jamaica, Saldana's chill spot is Rockhouse in Negril, and the callaloo and steamed fish from Pushcart is the meal that makes her mouth water. SO looks forward to her next visit and to enjoying an Americano.




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