- Zoe Saldana and Marco Perego have been blissfully married for nine years
- Marco is an Italian-born artist of varying mediums
- He’s helping teach his three children with Zoe three languages and how to combat gender stereotypes
While her name may not be as well-known as other successful actresses, Zoe Saldaña, 44, has a lot to offer. After all, she starred in the top two highest-grossing movies of all time: 2009’s Avatar and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Avatar earned $2.847 billion globally, while Avengers raked in $2.797 billion, per Business Insider. She was also in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, which comes in at No. 5 on the list of the 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 boys: twins Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio, 7, and their little brother, 5-year-old Zen Anton Hilario. “The third one was supposed to be [a daughter] and then my husband just doesn’t give any girls,” Saldana quipped while speaking to 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 mom of three boys in the post-#MeToo movement [means] I’m accepting the challenge.”
The man who helped her create three boys is her husband Marco Perego, an artist and filmmaker born in Italy. They’ve been married since 2013 and have frequently gushed about 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 Pro Soccer Player
Born on March 1, 1979, Marco was raised by a stay-at-home mother and a father who was a waiter in Salo, Italy, according to Oprah Daily. As many Italian boys do, Marco grew up playing soccer. He was so skilled that he was invited to play on Venice’s professional team. However, a leg injury he sustained 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 Wildly 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 celebrated his first solo show in New York City and sold 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 unbelievable, you know, because they show up like 700, 800 people in Ingrao Gallery,” he remembered when he spoke to Observer in Oct. 2007. “My story was unbelievable, because I come here and I come from very normal family, you know? My father is a waiter, my mum stays at home.”
Marco is an artist of varying mediums and has brought his creativity to the screen. He’s the producer behind 2014’s 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 bands 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 that his full name is Marco Perego-Saldana.
“I tried to talk him out of it,” the Star Trek actress recalled to InStyle in 2015. “I told him, ‘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.’ But Marco looks up at me and says, ‘Ah, 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 had been amid the resurgence of the #MeToo movement in 2017 as well as open to learning. “My husband has been an inspiration in this whole thing,” she noted. “The conversations we’ve been having, safely and intimately, have been evolving and it’s been very rewarding. He is part of a #MeToo group. We have 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 our way to be sworn in as a US Citizen. Marco has been dreaming about this moment for a long time. It was a process- as it should be, but we are finally here,” she penned in a heartfelt Instagram caption that accompanied a photo of Marco driving in handsome clothing.
“We are aware it isn’t as easy for many immigrants to obtain their citizenship, we say to them NEVER GIVE UP,” she continued. “Stay the course, America would not be what it is if not for the immigrants that come 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 don’t believe in gender stereotypes and are raising their kids in a gender-neutral home. “When you look at parenting, the whole thing about matriarchy and patriarchy, and Daddy’s little girl and Mama’s boys — my husband and I find that completely ludicrous and absolutely unhealthy for the upbringing of a child,” she told PEOPLE. “You’re giving them a very distorted and limited view on what a female role is supposed to be in a family and what a male role is supposed to be.”
As a solution, the two creatives decided to raise their three children “in a very gender-fluid environment” where they don’t assign specific roles to each other as parents. “He’s the bad cop, I’m the good cop and vice versa. There’s no such thing as, ‘Mom’s 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 Are Teaching Their Kids Three Languages
“I don’t know what they’re going to speak because right now 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 navigating a three-language household. “What’s most confusing is my mom would like to be called a certain way as a grandmother,” she said. “In Spanish it’s mama. So I’m mommy. And then his mother is la nonna. I’m like, ‘How are they going to do this between la nonna, mama, and mommy?'”
Marco Can Juggle It All
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 human. “He can juggle three children, a mercurial wife, his work, the house and the weight of the world in the same way he kicks this ball,” she sweetly wrote. “After 8 Valentine days together, you still manage to take my breath away just by walking into the room.” Aww!