So I feel like I need to sit down in front a silver platter, grab my knife and fork and get ready to devour my words. I was one of those angry, well, upset protestors against Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone. I had and have nothing against The “Avatar” starlet playing Nina, I just figured there were so many other choices that made more sense.
As production rolls forward with “Nina,” the biopic about the tragic jazz singer’s life, we’re introduced to more and more behind-the-scenes photos of Saldana in “brownface.” The latest set of photos shows the lighter skinned actress in full “Nina Simone face” and garb.
Saldana may look more like the part, but it doesn’t silence the voice in my head that screams, “She’s Puerto Rican in blackface!” Most of the film’s backlash comes from black folk that feel like other actresses were jipped in Cynthia Mort’s choice of the not-so-dark Saldana.
Shadow & Act reported that they are curious about the target audience for this film. Obviously Black America has shunned the film, mostly upset because of Saldana’s fair skin and Simone’s rich complexion. Like you, I realize that makeup can do a lot to change the way a person looks as they are and can completely transform them into a character. Zoe’s done it before with “Avatar.”
Other stars that have been confirmed for “Nina,” are Mike Epps as Richard Pryor, David Oyelowo as Nina’s Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson and Kevin Mambo. The film is scheduled to release in 2013.
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