If you were turned off by Zoe Saldana’s portrayal of Nina Simone in the trailer for the biopic, Nina, you may be pointing the finger in the wrong direction.
While fans have been very vocal about the Hispanic American actress not resembling the late singer, her daughter actually came to the rescue on Friday. “It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture,” Lisa Simone Kelly told Time. “I’m no longer bothered by it because the truth is already out there.”
In the same week Nina would have celebrated her 83rd birthday, the trailer came out and along with the resurgence of upset for the casting choice made by director Cynthia Mort. But the unsavory cherry on top came when Saldana quoted Nina Simone on Twitter and received a nasty response from the “I Put A Spell On You” singer’s verified account.
“There are many superb actresses of color who could more adequately represent my mother and could bring her to the screen with the proper script, the proper team and a sense of wanting to bring the truth of my mother’s journey to the masses,” Simone Kelly said in agreement with the sentiment. “And Nina, in my opinion, doesn’t do any of that.”
But she also notes that she respects Saldana’s effort. “”t’s clear she [Saldana] brought her best to this project, but unfortunately she’s being attacked when she’s not responsible for any of the writing or the lies,” she adds.
In addition to the lead casting choice, its also been noted that the story line is false since Clifton Henderson — played by David Oyelowo— was not a love interest but was actually gay. And just in case you need one more bummer, the film did not get authority from Simone’s estate to use her music, so the film is sans that.
At this point, we’re not really sure what the film’s selling point is… but maybe inquiring minds will go out to see how controversy plays out on screen.