Shortly after it was announced who would play the late jazz singer Nina Simone, images surfaced of actress Zoe Saldana on set of the upcoming biopic, Nina, covered in make-up to help bring the main character to life. Sadly many onlookers were in an uproar about the director’s decision to have an Afro-latina woman (who looks nothing like Nina) take on the role of the legendary singer.
Unfortunately, Zoe has taken in much of the criticism while trying her best to play one of her favorite musicians in the best light. The 34 year-old Avatar actress recently shared how she has managed to stay focused while filming the movie, despite the negative opinions:
The reality is that what keeps me focused and what kept me from I guess getting stressed or being hurt by the comments is that, I’m doing it for my sisters. I’m doing it for my brothers and I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that. I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me. That is my truth and that is what sets me free.
Saldana added that when the film is finally presented to the world, she’s going to take everyone’s positive or negative reaction with her chin up because that’s who she is and will always be. She ends it by saying: “I did it all out of love. Out of love for Nina. Out of love for my people and who I am. My pride for being a Black woman, a Latino woman and American. And that’s my truth.”
Preach. We must say that Zoe is one brave woman for taking on the role despite the obvious physical differences between herself and Nina Simone. Check out EBONY magazine’s interesting take on why Zaldana was the wrong choice for Nina Simone.