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Zoe Saldana Defends Her Role As Nina Simone: “I Did It Out Of Love For My People”

Submitted by on March 4, 2013 – 10:40 amNo Comment

Zoe Saldana sparked major controversy when she was cast in the role of Nina Simone in the forthcoming biopic about the late jazz songstress. Chosen to replace formerly cast R&B singer Mary J. Blige, many criticized the decision to place a Latina actress in a role of an African-American musical icon. But, the 34-year-old actress, who has starred in big Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar, Colombiana, and Star Trek, recently broke her silence in regards controversy and the backlash it created.

“The reality is what keeps me focused, and what kept me from getting stressed or being hurt by the comments is that I’m doing it for my sisters, I’m doing it for my brothers and I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that,” she told Hip Hollywood in the video below. “I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me, so that is my truth and that is what set me free.”

 Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone

Written and directed by Cynthia Mort, the biopic will call for Saldana to wear wigs, prosthetic teeth, and dark makeup to embody Simone. But, it’s a transformation the star is welcoming.

“I can only maintain as much humility as possible so that when I have to face the world and we have to then give the movie to the world to see… that if it comes back… in a negative fashion or a positive, I’m going to keep my chin up. Because that’s who I am and that’s who I’ll be, and Nina was like that, too. I did it all out of love,” Saldana said in regards to making the film despite the controversy. “Out of love for Nina, out of love for my people and who I am and my pride of being a black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman. That’s my truth.”

Do you think Zoe Saldana should have been cast as Nina Simone?

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