Zoe Saldana, a darling of sci-fi films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek and Avatar, has appeared on-screen besides beloved comedic acts like Ashton Kutcher and the late Bernie Mac in 2005’s Guess Who. The actress, who starred as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic titled after the late singer, has proven her versatility time and time again. Interestingly enough, the 41-year-old mother of three seems to maintain the same novel approach to life at home. There, she and hubby Marco Perego-Saldana raise three children at the center of an adorably nontraditional love story.
1. He took her last name.
The couple, who married in 2013, share more than just a house and home together: Perego-Saldana took his wife’s last name. In a conversation with In Style, Saldana explained that her husband was set on the nontraditional decision, even after she tried to dissuade him. "I tried to talk him out of it," she told the magazine back in 2015. The actress explained that it was him for whom she feared: "If you use my last name, you're going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.”
2. It was love at first "vibration."
The couple, who reportedly married after just months of dating, both know the fantastical feeling, in all of its romance, of love at first sight. Better, actually. Saldana told USA Today that it was their cosmic energy that prompted Perego-Saldana to turn and face her as she sat facing her husband’s back on a crowded airplane. A stranger no more, Perego-Saldana turned to face his bride-to-be, leaving fate to work out the logistics.
3. He comes from humble, Italian beginnings.
The former soccer player was born in Italy to a waiter and stay-at-home mom, according to reports. Back home, he fell in love with the country’s collective love: football. Perego set his sights on the states, via New York, after an injury brought his soccer career to an abrupt halt.
4. His paintings go for as much as $30,000 a pop.
Today, the father of three enjoys life state-side, where he has focused all of his passions on art — and, initially, bussing tables — since he arrived. At a New York gala night attended early in his career, The New York Observer reports that Perego-Saldana’s art sold for upwards of $20,000, and was nearly all gone by the night’s end.
5. He’s just Saldana’s type.
As can be gleaned from his Instagram handle, Perego-Saldana’s flowing, long hair, smoldering eyes and grungy beard bear the liking of a character at the center of American fantasy and filmmaking: a pirate. Perhaps the couple was, indeed, brought together by some fated scheme; a 2013 conversation with Metro Uk revealed that the painter’s look was just what the actress dreamed of: "A badass renegade! A pirate! A pirate who can cry," she gushed before the two began dating.