Zoe Saldana has released a tearful apology for accepting the role of Nina Simone in the 2016 Nina biopic.
For the role, Saldana darkened her skin and wore a prosthetic nose. Until now the Afro-Latina actress defended her portrayal of Simone, famously telling HipHollywood back in 2013 that her intentions were pure.
“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, so that is my truth and that set me free,” she said.
Right before the film was released and a trailer dropped Twitter was in an uproar over Saldana’s casting and seeing her in what many called blackface playing Simone.
Saldana doubled -down in defense of her portrayal of Simone, telling Allure in 2017, “‘The script probably would still be lying around, going from office to office, agency to agency, and nobody would have done it. Female stories aren’t relevant enough, especially a Black female story […] I made a choice. Do I continue passing on the script and hope that the ‘right’ Black person will do it, or do I say, ‘You know what? Whatever consequences this may bring about, my casting is nothing in comparison to the fact that this story must be told.’”
On Monday, August 3, however Saldana told Pose executive producer Steven Canals that she should have never played the role.
“I should have never played Nina. I should have done everything in my power, with the leverage that I had ten 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,” she said.
“I thought back then that I had the permission, because I was a Black woman, she continued. “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.”
Saldana preceded to apologize and suggested someone else should play Simone.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, because I love her music. She’s one of our giants. Somebody else should step up. Somebody else should tell her story because she’s one of those people that … Nina Simone!”
You know we have some suggestions. Like Lupita N’yongo, Anika Noni Rose, Uzo Aduba, Cynthia Erivo, Adepero Oduye. We could go on for days.
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