Zoe Saldana is (finally) fessing up to her part in not doing the late, great Nina Simone any justice with her portrayal of her in a 2016 biopic. From the get-go, fans rejected the idea of Zoe playing Nina Simone, dragging the movie poster of Zoe depicting the singer into oblivion. In the months of promo leading up to the release of the movie, Zoe defended her role, and the decisions of whoever to place darkened makeup on her skin and a fake nose to mimic Nina’s looks — now she regrets it all!
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Despite significant controversy, #Nina, a years-in-the-making biopic of the so-called “High Priestess of Soul,” will debut in theaters this April.
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In a recent at home interview with BESE, the Dominican and Puerto Rico actress tearfully apologized for playing Nina Simone.
“I should have never played Nina. 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. It’s growing. It’s painful. I thought back then that I had the permission because I was a Black woman — and I am. But it was Nina Simone, 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 opinions and her views, her music and her art. And she was so honest. So she deserved better.”
Here comes the apology…
“But that said, I am sorry. I am so sorry because I love her music. She’s one of our giants. Somebody else should step up. Somebody else should tell her story… I just want her story to be told and I want it to be right because she deserves it. I know better today and I’m never going to do that again. Never. I’m learning.”
Interesting. You can catch her comments below in the clip.
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Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) sits down with “Pose” (@poseonfx) creator and executive producer Steven Canals (@stevencanals) to chat about Afro-Latinidad, colorism in the Latinx community, Nina Simone, and more. #AfroLatinx #AfroLatinidad #BESE #ZoeSaldana #StevenCanals #Pose #PoseFX #AfroLatinos #Dominican #PuertoRican
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This is a total change of heart for Saldana, who once defended her portrayal on record. In June of 2016, Zoe responded to the backlash in an interview with Allure magazine stating,
“There’s no one way to be black. I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.”
Do YOU forgive her?