- Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego have been happily married for nine years
- Marco is an Italian born artist of various mediums
- He helps his three children with Zoe learn three languages and how to combat gender stereotypes
Although her name may not be as well known as other successful actresses, Zoë Saldana, 44, has a lot to offer. After all, she starred in the top two highest-grossing movies of all time: 2009’s Avatar and 2019s Avengers: Endgame. Avatar grossed $2.847 billion worldwide, while Avengers $2.797 billion raised, per Business Insider. She was also in 2018s Avengers: Infinity Warcoming in at number 5 on the list of highest grossing movies at $2.048 billion.
In addition to being arguably one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood, Zoe is the mother of three young sons: twins Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio7, and their little brother, 5 years old Zen Anton Hilario. “The third one was supposed to be [a daughter] and then my husband just doesn’t give a shit about girls,” Saldana quipped as he spoke PEOPLE in Sept. 2022. “I would have been great as a mother of daughters, but the universe, in its irony, and how I became a mother of three sons in the post-#MeToo movement [means] I accept the challenge.”
The man who helped her create three sons is her husband Marco Perego, an artist and filmmaker born in Italy. They have been married since 2013 and have often struggled over the unwavering love and adoration they have for each other. Read on to learn more about Marco and his marriage to Zoe!
Marco Perego was almost a professional soccer player
Born on March 1, 1979, Marco was raised by a stay-at-home mom and a waiter dad in Salo, Italy, according to Oprah Daily. As many Italian boys do, Marco grew up playing football. He was so skilled that he was invited to play on Venice’s professional team. However, a leg injury he suffered at the age of 21 forced him to retire. He then moved to New York to pursue a job in the arts.
Marco is a very successful artist
When he moved to the Big Apple, Marco paid the bills as a waiter and a busboy while working on his craft as an artist on the side. By the time he was 28, he had his first solo show in New York City, selling his paintings for between $20,000 and $30,000 and his sculptures for $15,000, as reported by Observer. He sold 13 of the 15 sculptures during that monumental first show of his. “My first show in New York was amazing, you know, because they had like 700, 800 people show up in Ingrao Gallery,” he recalled when speaking Observer in October 2007. “My story was amazing because I come here and I come from a very normal family, you know? My father is a waiter, my mother stays at home.”
Marco is an artist of various mediums and has brought his creativity to the screen. He is the producer behind the 2014 short drama romance picture Me + Her and the 2016 documentary, Black and white stripes: The Juventus story.
Marco took his wife’s last name
Zoe and Marco surprised fans when they were photographed wearing wedding rings in London in 2013. PEOPLE then confirmed they tied the knot in an intimate ceremony that summer. When they got married, Marco decided to take Zoe’s name, so his full name is Marco Perego-Saldana.
“I tried to talk him out of it,” said the Star Trek actress recalled to In style in 2015. “I told him, ‘If you use my last name, you’re going to be maimed by your community of artists, by your Latino community of men, by the world.’ But Marco looked up at me and said: ‘Oh, Zoë, I don’t give a sheet.’” How sweet!
Marco supports the #MeToo movement
Marco is not afraid to make unique decisions or support humanitarian causes. In a previous conversation with Cosmopolitan UK (via Oprah Daily), Zoe gushed about how supportive Marco has been amid the resurgence of the #MeToo movement in 2017, as well as being open to learning. “My husband has been an inspiration in this whole thing,” she noted. “The conversations we had, safe and intimate, evolved and it was very rewarding. He is part of a #MeToo group. We need to broaden the narrative of #MeToo.”
Marco became a US citizen in 2016
Zoe documented a very special day in both her and Marco’s lives: the day he became a citizen of the United States of America. “On my way to be sworn in as an American citizen. Marco has been dreaming about this moment for a long time. It’s been a process – as it should be, but we’re finally here,” she wrote a heartfelt Instagram caption alongside a photo of Marco riding in stylish clothes.
“We are aware that it is not so easy for many immigrants to obtain their citizenship, we tell them to NEVER GIVE UP,” she continued. “Stay the course, America wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for the immigrants who came for better opportunities. We send love and good vibes to you all today.”
Marco and Zoe are raising their children in a ‘gender fluid’ environment
Zoe revealed in 2018 that she and Marco do not believe in gender stereotypes and are raising their children in a gender-neutral home. “When you look at parenting, the whole thing about matriarchy and patriarchy, and Daddy’s little girl and Mommy’s boys — my husband and I find that completely ridiculous and absolutely unhealthy for raising a child,” she said. PEOPLE. “You give them a very distorted and limited view of what a female role in a family is supposed to be and what a male role is supposed to be.”
As a solution, the two creative people decided to raise their three children “in a very gender-fluid environment” where they do not assign specific roles to each other as parents. “He’s the bad cop, I’m the good cop and vice versa. There is no such thing as: ‘Mother is the boss, listen to your mother’,” she explained. “No, listen to your father as much as your mother because we stand as a unit.”
Marco and Zoe teach their children three languages
“I don’t know what they’re going to talk about because at the moment we’re talking to them in English and Italian and Spanish,” Zoe revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in June 2015. She also opened up about her concerns about a trilingual household. “What’s most confusing is that my mother wants to be called a grandmother in a certain way,” she said. “In Spanish it’s mama. So I’m mom. And then his mother is la nonna. I’m like, ‘How are they going to do it between la nonna, mamma and mamma?'”
Marco can juggle everything
On Valentine’s Day in 2021, Zoe shared a video of Marco playing soccer on the beach and gushed about how impressive he is as a person. “He can juggle three kids, a mercurial wife, his job, the house and the weight of the world the same way he kicks this ball,” she sweetly wrote. “After 8 Valentine’s days together, you still manage to take my breath away just by walking into the room.” Aww!