She deserved better: Zoe Saldana on playing singer Nina Simone in biopic

The movie was written and directed by Cynthia Mort and focuses on the life of American musician and civil rights activist.

Published: 07th August 2020 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2020 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

Actress Zoe Saldana | AP


LOS  Actor Zoe Saldana has apologised for taking on role of legendary singer Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic "Nina".

The movie was written and directed by Cynthia Mort and focuses on the life of American musician and civil rights activist.

Saldana's casting as the singer had led to a huge backlash at the time.

The 42-year-old actor, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, said that she shouldn't have agreed to the part which actually belonged to a black woman.

"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 (amount of) leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless."

"I should've tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman," Saldana told "Pose" creator Steven Canals during a chat.

She explained that after taking on the role of Simone, it required her to wear a prosthetic nose and to darken her skin.

"I thought back then that I had the permission because I was a Black woman, and I am.

"But it was Nina Simone, and Nina had a life and she had a journey that should've been and should be honoured to the most specific detail because she was a specifically detailed individual about her voice, her opinions, her views, her music, and her art. And she was so honest. She deserved better," Saldana said.

The actor then became emotional as she once again apologised for playing the part.

"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," Saldana added.


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