Zoe Saldana has finally responded to the backlash against her playing the role of Nina Simone in a biopic detailing intimate details of the jazz singer’s life. Initially, Mary J. Blige was tapped the play the role, then it was announced that Zoe was awarded the role and many people, including #TeamBeautiful voiced their disdain.
Honestly, I don’t mind Zoe in the role, I just think there’s other actresses closer to Nina’s deep chocolate complexion who could have benefited from this potent role. Despite all the backlash, Zoe remained silent…until now. In an interview with Hip Hollywood, Saldana said, “I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me. That is my truth and that is what set me free.”
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1. Rosie Perez- Actress
"One thing that's really nasty in our community is how we don't support each other. If you have something to say, don't say it against our own, say it against the system!"
2. Emayatzy Corinealdi- Actress, Middle of Nowhere
"For me, dealing with that whole issue with Zoe and with Nina, at the end of the day, I love Zoe. I think she's an amazing actress. David Yolowo is going to be in this film and he is great. I feel at the end of the day it's about the work and I can empathize with Zoe in just how she feels with all the backlash. I'm for her--I'm for Zoe, I'm for David, I'm for the film--and I know however it plays out, it will be beautiful…that's what I'm believing."
3. Kiara C. Jones- Director, Barbasol
"The casting of Zoe Saldana makes sense in the way that she has a powerful name. A lot of times with our characters, because we don't know enough about them, we decide on the surface who they are and where they come from and it's the same with people. It's unfair we don't know what Nina's ethnic background all the way is along with Zoe's. She's a beautiful woman, she's a talented actress, she's a powerful name, she'll bring credence to the film. She'll do a great job in the role."
4. Maya Washington- Director, White Space
"I think its great, I think anytime you see a brown face in a role in Hollywood we have to applaud and be excited, regardless of what other peoples politics may or may not be whether you are Latina or African-American, or somewhere in between. You have to support everybody and celebrate everyone's achievements."
5. Delila Vallot- Director, Tunnel Vision
"Lindsey Lohan is doing Elizabeth Taylor and I think that she doesn't look exactly like her. I think we have to be careful when we say 'Does an actress look exactly like another actress or the person they're portraying?' I don't think that's the only thing that is important when you're casting somebody. We don't want a robot that's an exact replica, we want someone who can pull off the role. She gets a thumbs up. I'm glad she's working."