Caribbean Roots Actress Not Black Enough For Nina Simone Role?

Zoe-Saldana-nina-simone
Actress Zoe Saldana plays Nina Simone left. (David Redfern/Redferns, Frazer Harrison/Getty)
Zoe-Saldana-nina-simone
Actress Zoe Saldana plays Nina Simone left. (David Redfern/Redferns, Frazer Harrison/Getty)

By NAN ET Editor

News Americas, LOS ANGELES, CA, Fri. Mar. 4, 2016: A Hollywood actress whose roots extend to the Caribbean nations of Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is facing severe criticism for accepting and playing the role of soul singer, Nina Simone.

Zoe Saldana who came to prominence in 2009 with the roles of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek and Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar will star in ‘Nina,’ an upcoming biopic about the jazz musician Nina Simone set to be released set to arrive in theaters and video-on-demand on April 22nd, after its December 2015 release was pushed back.

The film depicts the late singer’s rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson. But the fact that Saldana had to darken her skin and wear a prosthetic nose to look more like the real Simone, has Simone’s estate angry and lashing out.

After Saldana took to Twitter to react to the criticism by quoting Simone – “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me- No Fear… I mean really, no fear,” #NinaSimone,” the estate fired back by Tweeting: “Please take Nina’s name out of your mouth. For the rest of your life.”

Simone fans have had equally harsh reactions to Saldana’s casting. They’re pissed about her prosthetic nose and the darkened skin thing becauseSimone stood for up for black empowerment and civil rights.

Distributor RLJ Entertainment, however, has described Saldana’s performance as “an exceptional and mesmerizing tribute.”

See a trailer from “Nina” here.