Zoe Saldana was a Terrible Choice to Play Nina Simone
When I first heard about Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in an unauthorized biopic, I was not pleased. It makes NO sense to me that of every actress of color in Hollywood, Zoe would be the choice to play Nina. Zoe’s cool as an actress and I enjoy her work but nothing about her even remotely resembles Nina Simone. Yes, I get that they can do movie magic blah blah blah. But there are other actresses who would play THE HELL outta that role.
Simone Kelly, Nina’s daughter penned a strong letter opposing the movie and I really was like “so what is the point?” If the person closest to the legend doesn’t approve of this flick, why are they doing it? Oh yeah. Money. Just money. Especially since the movie isn’t even gonna be that accurate. Simone put the premise of the film on blast. They’re basically creating the story of this woman’s life without giving a damb as to whether it’s accurate or not.
Sidenote: Follow @NinaSimoneMusic on Twitter. That’s the official account of Nina Simone’s estate and it’s run by her daughter, Simone. It has a verified checkmark and everything. Check out that timeline and you’ll see that she doesn’t support this film.
To add insult to injury, they cast Zoe “I pass the paper bag test” Saldana to play a woman who was raised being told that she was too dark and basically too Black. Chile WOMP. Hollywood be on boolsheet and this is one of those times.
Filming has began on the film and pictures have leaked of Zoe on set in costume and it brings ALL the side-eyes to the gahtdamb yard.
Oh, y’all TRIED IT. Girllllll WUT??? O_______O I wanna kick every trashcan in my house for this. Every single one. This picture got my soul trouble for many reasons.
1. They dipped a giant cotton ball in black ink and gingerly placed it on Zoe’s head talmbout TA DA! It’s an afro wig! I’m insulted on behalf of Nina Simone, whose afro was ALWAYS tight and put together! What is this dry ass haircap they got Zoe in? NO MA’AM.
b. Did they use shoe polish on her face? I understand that Zoe is Afro-Latina and all’at but this feels like blackface a little bit. They wouldn’t have to do this if they actually picked an actress around Nina’s skin tone to play her. I’m talmbout folks like Viola Davis. Word is that Nina actually wanted Whoopi Goldberg to play her one day. In what milky way is Zoe the ideal Nina???
And besides them, Adepero Oduye is RIGHT THERE! She would SLAY as Nina Simone. If y’all don’t know who Adepero is, get familiar. She’s the amazing lady in Pariah, and incredibly gifted (and also super nice and down-to-Earth). I met her when I went to LA for the Oscars in February and she is dopeness. She would be perfect as Nina. They even look alike! Like… for real. Look:
Seriously. Adepero was born to play Nina. But they wanna overlook her and pick Zoe as if they had no other choices. WOMPY MCWOMPSON JR.!
III. No country for any of this. NAWL.
Maybe I’m just being a hater but this is a terrible choice, in my opinion. I won’t be supporting this movie. Not just because Zoe’s clearly a bad casting decision, but because Nina Simone’s own daughter is sternly against it for many reasons (and they’re justifiable). They can keep this one.
So what do you think about this casting choice? Will you be watching the film whenever it comes out?
Edit: Another pic came out and now I wanna go knock on the door of the casting director and tell him to come see me outside.
NO. GAHTDAMB. MA’AM.
Update: THREE YEARS LATER (March 1, 2016), they drop the release date for this film (April 22, 2016). NO THANK YOU. They shoulda deaded it and just silently let it fall by the wayside. Because: NO. But here they are, proving that Team Bad Decisions will always have core members.