Zoe Saldana felt ''nothing but compassion'' for Britney Spears during her breakdown.

The 'Star Trek Into Darkness' beauty had a small role in the singer's movie debut 'Crossroads' in 2001 and felt she was ''super sweet'' on set and couldn't help but feel sympathy for her during her dark year in 2007, when she behaved erratically and ended up shaving her head as well as experiencing various legal problems.

Zoe is quotes by LOOK magazine as saying: ''Britney never, that I know of, spoke ill about anybody. She was a small town girl with big dreams who made it and she was the cleanest spirit out of all the people that came out. Simple girl, small town girl, super sweet.

''I was very appreciative that I got to see that little side of her because then the years that followed were very gruelling for her and I felt nothing but compassion.''

The 34-year-old star admits she wouldn't be able to handle the media interest that surrounds the 'Hold It Against Me' hitmaker and Zoe ''aggressively'' tries to protect her own privacy.

She said: ''It's hard for me to use words like 'famous' and 'celebrity'. But [I first felt] known where you go in a place and think, 'Why is everyone staring at me?' I have a hard time dealing with it. I grew up with a mum who's very private and my sisters and I have always been very discreet, so I maintain my life by aggressively protecting it.''