Photo credit: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com
Zoe Saldana has revealed that she regrets playing the part of Nina Simone, saying the late musician and civil rights activist “deserved better”.
The 42-year-old actress played the part of the late music legend in the 2016 biopic Nina, despite not really showing any resemblance to the star.
She even had to wear a prosthetic nose and have her skin darkened, something which the actress has revealed she now deeply regrets…
“I should have never played Nina,” Zoe Saldana said, in a video, she shared on Instagram of an interview with Pose co-creator Steven Canals.
“I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had 10 years ago—which was a different leverage but it was leverage nonetheless. I should have tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman.”
At the time, Zoe Saldana faced a lot of criticism for accepting the role. Nina Simone’s daughter – Lisa Simone Kelly – also voiced her concerns about the controversial casting…
“My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark. Appearance-wise this is not the best choice,” Lisa Simone Kelly told the New York Times back in 2012.
Zoe Saldana continued to say that she didn’t seem to understand why she received so much backlash at the time, but now fully gets why her casting was controversial…
“I thought back then that I had the permission because I was a Black woman,” the actress – whose parents are from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic – continued.
“And I am. But, it’s Nina. And Nina had a life and she had a journey that should have been, and should be, honored to the most specific detail.
“Because she was a specifically detailed individual. About her voice, her views, her music, her opinions and her art. And she was so honest. So, she deserved better.”
Zoe Saldana concluded by saying that someone more appropriate should “step up” and portray Nina Simone in the way in which she deserved all along, “because she deserves it and America deserves it.”
Who would you like to see portray Nina Simone in the next biopic?