I actually sat and watched all 25 previous James Bond movies (yes, counting Sean Connery’s Never Say Never Again) during the first month of “lockdown” in April of 2020. So when I give my usual “this list will not be your list” disclaimer, I should also note that this list won’t necessarily be the list I […]
Actress Zoe Saldana has apologised for playing Nina Simone in a heavily criticized 2016 biopic.
The Marvel star, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, wore a prosthetic nose and skin-darkening make-up for the role.
Simone’s estate refused to endorse the film, and the late singer’s daughter questioned the casting decision.
In a new interview, originally broadcast live on Instagram, Saldana said: “I should have never played Nina.
“I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had 10 years ago, which was a different leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless.
“I should have done everything in my power to cast a black woman to play an exceptionally perfect black woman.”
Writing on the official Nina Simone Facebook page in 2012, the singer’s daughter, Simone Kelly, wrote: “I love Zoe Saldana, we all love Zoe… From Avatar to Colombiana, I’ve seen those movies a few times.
“But not every project is for everybody. And I know what my mother would think. I just don’t get it.”
The film, called Nina, was derided by critics and holds a 2% rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.
Saldana, who has also starred in Guardians of the Galaxy and two of Marvel’s Avengers films, said Simone “deserved better”.
“I thought back then that I had the permission [to play her] because I was a black woman,” Saldana said.
“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 – honoured to the most specific detail because she was a specifically detailed individual.”
Becoming emotional, Saldana added: “With that said: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I know better today and I’m never going to do that again.
“She’s one of our giants and someone else should step up. Somebody else should tell her story.”