Queen Latifah recently took home a SAG Award for her role as iconic blues singer Bessie Smith in the sensational HBO film, Bessie.
The Emmy Award winning film was a passion project for Queen who during her SAG acceptance speech encouraged “anyone out there who does not come in the package that people say you should, keep fighting for it. Flip those rocks over, keep pushing, keep turning, you can do it.”
And now, just weeks after Latifah delivered the incredibly moving speech, it’s Zoe Saldana who is being forced to “flip rocks” and “keep pushing” over the backlash for her role as Nina Simone.
Saldana plays the iconic jazz singer in the upcoming biopic Nina, but after the trailer’s debut last week, the actress was hit with some harsh criticism; many on social media upset with Saldana’s dark makeup, prosthetic nose and afro wig the star wore in order to channel the musical legend’s look.
And while Zoe stands by her passion project, it’s Queen Latifah who is also supporting the actress. “This is a creative medium,” she told HipHollywood exclusively during an interview for her upcoming movie, Miracles From Heaven. “Why do we all have to look a certain way, be a certain way, this is what we are fighting for is that freedom.”
Latifah continued, “Lets not be confused, Zoe Saldana is of African descent. Do you know what you really fighting? I don’t know if you really get it. The bottom line is can she play Nina Simone and pull it off.”
She added, “I support Zoe. I think she’s a brilliant actress and I think she is going to do a great job.”
Nina hits theaters April 22, 2016.