Zoe Saldana said she trained with the "Bourne Identity" stunt coordinator and practiced Krav Maga, the self-defense martial art used by Israeli soldiers, for her assassin role in the new action film "Colombiana."
The film hit theaters on Friday, August 26.
"The action is a little different from 'Avatar' and 'The Losers,'" Saldana told OnTheRedCarpet.com co-host Rachel Smith at a screening for the movie, referencing her past films. "This is a female assassin who was trained basically in the streets and so it's a mixture of a lot of hand-to-hand combat, with a little bit of Krav Maga and I worked with the most amazing stunt people."
In "Colombiana," Saldana plays Cataleya, who witnesses her parents' murder in Bogota, Columbia and grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. She works as a professional hit woman by day and at night, tracks down the mobster responsible for her parents' death, one vigilante murder at a time.
"Alain Figlarz, who was the stunt coordinator on the movie, is this amazing French stuntman who trained Matt Damon years ago for the 'Bourne Identity,'" Saldana said. "So along with the director, they wanted the fight sequences to be very similar to the 'Bourne' movies. They wanted it to be real and very, very raw."
"So it was a lot of training, a lot of mental rehearsals," she added. "But once it paid off, I was really proud of myself because not only was I pushing myself as an artist, but I was also representing all the professionals that took their time to train me."
"Alias" star Michael Vartan plays Saldana's love interest, a sensitive painter who falls for the mysterious Cat.
"It's actually a really fun part because her character is so closed off - she's a killer, so she's got that seemingly heart of stone and my character falls in love with her and obviously, you always want what you can't have even more," Vartan told OnTheRedCarpet.com at the event. "He kind of obsesses over her and tries to figure out why she's so mysterious and cryptic."
Saldana's first major on-screen role was in the 2000 ballet film, "Center Stage." The 33-year-old actress has since appeared in movies such as "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," "Star Trek," "The Losers" and played the main heroine in "Avatar."
In June 2010, the actress got engaged to boyfriend Keith Britton, after 10 years together.
Last year, Saldana's "Star Trek" co-star Chris Pine told OnTheRedCarpet.com that he would like a "shot" at the actress in the film's sequel.
"I want at least one shot at Ms. Saldana. I mean please, please God have mercy," Pine joked to OnTheRedCarpet.com co-host Rachel Smith, adding, "Maybe her in her little 'Avatar' outfit."
In the film, Saldana plays Uhura, who was last seen romantically linked to Zachary Quinto's Spock.
The film's writer and producer, Damon Lindelof caught up with OnTheRedCarpet.com at San Diego Comic-Con in July and said that they had "finally broken through and figured out what the movie is going to be." The sequel has a tentative release date set for June 29, 2012.
"When they tell me they have the dates ready [for 'Star Trek 2'], I will get ready,' Saldana told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "But I would much rather take a break and relax and enjoy the success, hopefully, of this movie and then I will be ready for 'Star Trek' and for 'Avatar,' when they come calling."
Watch a trailer for "Colombiana" below.
Additional reporting by Rachel Smith, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).