Power Players

Zoe Saldana says the best advice she got about working in Hollywood came from her mom—here's what she told her

Jesse Grant | Getty

Many powerful women — including Michelle Obama — credit their mothers for giving them good life advice that later helped their careers.

Such is the case for actress Zoe Saldana, who says the advice that's helped her thrive in the entertainment industry came from her mother.

"She was always reminding me that I mattered," Saldana recently told CNBC Make It during a conversation about her work with the Chivas Venture Global Final, a competition in which social entrepreneurs vie for a piece of a $1 million fund.

"She was like, 'don't forget about you,'" Saldana says. "Don't forget about your happiness. Don't forget about your beauty. Don't forget about your opinion."

The actress says that she "didn't know how powerful that [advice] was going to be" until she faced challenges as a woman and a Latina in Hollywood.

Saldana has starred in hit movies like "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Avatar" and "Star Trek," and has racked up a number of awards for her work. Now, as the founder of BESE — a digital media brand that aims to combat the lack of diversity in mainstream media — she says she feels the pressure to prove herself "twice as hard, because I'm a woman and I'm the CEO of my own company."

No matter how far she's come, Saldana says that when she's faced with situations in in which she feels she's being underestimated, she returns to the advice she got from her mom, and manages challenges "with kindness and respect and patience, because my mother repeatedly reminded me that I mattered."

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