Why Zoe Saldana's T-Mobile Commercial Fell Totally Flat

If you're wondering who the woman in the T-Mobile iPhone 15 commercial is and where you've seen her before, chances are you've seen her in one of your favorite franchises. Zoe Saldana has had starring roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's "Guardians of the Galaxy" films, the "Star Trek" reboot films, and the "Avatar" movies. Some of her other projects include "The Adam Project" and "From Scratch." She even starred in an episode of "Law & Order: SVU." However, Saldana's T-Mobile commercial has been met with some negative reviews.

In the holiday-themed commercial that began airing in 2023, Saldana notices a family all using the new iPhone 15, looking on with jealousy. As she stands in front of a mirror, Saldana's reflection encourages her: "You're an action star: take action!" Then, the reflection informs her of the iPhone deal customers can get if they switch to T-Mobile.

A link to the commercial was shared on the "Commercials I Hate" subreddit with the caption, "T-Mobile does it again!" Although the YouTube video linked on the platform had mostly positive comments, critics on Reddit didn't hold back, with one person quoting the "action star" moment and adding a vomiting emoji. Viewers of the commercial have criticized Saldana's acting, her outfit, and even the actor herself.

The 'marshmallow' jacket was one of many things people hated about the ad

In that same Reddit thread, another user commented that they didn't know who Zoe Saldana was and that she shouldn't be considered "an action star" in her T-Mobile commercial. Another person replied to that and pointed out, "She's normally CGI or layered in makeup ... being in Avatar and Guardians of the Galaxy/Avengers movies makes her at least a scifi action star."

The commercial was received equally poorly in another Reddit thread in the "Commercials I Hate" subreddit in which the poster said, "I cannot understand what she's saying half the time, and those faces are awful." One commenter agreed, saying: "The face she makes when she's pretending to ski is so weird. For the longest time I thought she was just dancing because she was happy about the deal." They added that both options were bad ones. A lot of people also said that the puffy white jacket Saldana wears in the commercial was ugly — although it was clearly meant to accommodate the joke at the end, where Saldana's reflection says, "You look like a marshmallow!"

Some commenters pointed out that the concept of the commercial didn't make sense, since a person with the net worth of Saldana could likely afford new iPhones without needing a special deal from T-Mobile.

Reddit isn't the only platform with the commercial's critics

X, formerly known as Twitter, is also filled with people that find it hard to enjoy Zoe Saldana's T-Mobile commercial. One user said, "The Zoe Saldana T-Mobile commercial is so bad who pitched and wrote this." Another said they are usually a fan of Saldana's work but, "This TMobile commercial is CRINGE." Someone on the platform noticed how in the commercial, it's illogical for Saldana's reflection to tell the real Saldana only her stunt woman is a talented skier, since that goes against the "action star" line. They added, "Which is it, Zoe, are you an action star, or are you stealing valor?" 

Some even think the T-Mobile commercial should win an award — but not a nice one. The Razzie Awards (also known as the Golden Raspberry Awards) are an awards show founded by UCLA graduates that recognizes subpar movies. One harsh critic claimed Saldana's iPhone 15 ad needs "at least three" of the award.

Not everyone agrees. One X user defended the star, saying, "Zoe Saldana is so cute in this TMobile commercial." For the most part, though, the internet is in agreement: T-Mobile's iPhone 15 commercial has 0 bars.