Still, in the end, "it was a very sweet departure, I have to say," the actress tells EW.

Making Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was a bittersweet experience for Zoe Saldaña, who knew going into the shoot that it would likely mark her last time playing Gamora.

"[Filming] started bitter in the beginning cause obviously you're anticipating the end, but I'm just so happy that once again I got to work with great people," the actress tells EW while promoting her upcoming Netflix show, From Scratch. "I had an evolution that I witnessed of myself, but also my director and my cast. I just felt very blessed and grateful. It was a very sweet departure, I have to say."

Earlier this year, Guardians director James Gunn said on Deadline's Hero Nation podcast that Vol. 3 would be "the last time people will see this team of Guardians," adding, "This is the end for us."

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Zoe Saldana, 2014. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Courtesy Everett
Zoe Saldaña 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
| Credit: Everett Collection

The final Guardians film in Gunn's trilogy will dive deeper into Rocket's origins as a genetically enhanced creature, exploring the trauma that shaped him into the pessimistic, wise-cracking raccoon we know and love. At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Gunn revealed to EW that he initially wasn't planning on making a third movie.

"I knew I needed to come back to tell this story and, in some ways, in particular, I have a special closeness to the character of Rocket, and I knew I needed to finish to tell his story," Gunn said. "I knew that that was what started me on this journey, was seeing who he could be and who he was, where he came from, and the thing that grounded me initially in the Guardians."

After playing Gamora across five films for over eight years, Saldaña has a lot of favorite memories from set. Asked about that iconic Avengers: Endgame "Women Power" moment she shared alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Tessa Thompson, Brie Larson, and more, she said she knew it was a special moment, but not for the reasons you may think.

"Obviously, we knew it was going to be special, and we were feeling ourselves every time the Russos would say, 'Action!'" says Saldaña. "But what I can remember — and these are the nuggets of life that make me feel so human and keep me grounded — is that we were just complaining about how uncomfortable our costumes were, our makeup, our wigs, how cold the set was, how much we didn't want to be there, how much we wanted to be there. So we were just being girls, you know? Going together and acting tough [through that] was also very special."

Watch our full "Role Call" with Zoe Saldaña above.

Related content:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  • Movie