USA Today

by Andrea Mandell / June 16, 2015

From her artist husband Marco Perego taking her last name to speed-dialing her nanny en route to her latest premiere, Zoe Saldana’s life has shifted remarkably since she shot the comic drama Infinitely Polar Bear two years ago.

“I’m so sorry,” she says, bare-faced and running late after taking her 6-month-old twin sons, Cy and Bowie, to the doctor for a checkup in preparation for her brood’s relocation to the Vancouver set of Star Trek 3.

Yet after the birth of her twins, a stark reality has surfaced.

“Let me tell you something, it will never be the right time for anybody in your life that you get pregnant,” says Saldana, noting that last year, “the productions I was slated to work on sort of had a panic. I heard through the grapevine there was even a conversation of me being written off of one of the projects.”

Statistically, few parents have access to company-provided child care. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Families and Work Institute, only 20% of large employers (with 1,000 or more employees) provide child care at the workplace, and just 5% contribute financially toward it.

Still, studios “spend more money sometimes ‘perking’ up male superstars in a movie,” she says, paying for private jets, a coterie of assistants and bodyguards or booking “a really phat penthouse or them staying in a yacht instead of them staying on land.”

“But then a woman comes in going, ‘OK, I have a child. You’re taking me away from my home. You’re taking my children away from their home. And you’re going to make me work a lot more hours than I usually would if I was home. Therefore, I would have to pay for this nanny for more hours — so I kind of need that. And they go, ‘Nope, we don’t pay for nannies.’ ”

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