Date: 7th August 2020
Zoe Saldana tearfully apologized for playing legendary musician Nina Simone in 2016's Nina. The actress famously darkened her skin, wore false teeth, and put on a nose prosthesis in order to look more like Simone.
"I should have never played Nina", Zoe Saldana said during a new interview. Saldana and the movie were torn apart by critics upon its release. Currently, Nina has a 2% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Saldana deeply regrets the decision to take on the role, which was originally going to Mary J. Blige.
After apologizing for taking on the role, Zoe Saldana says, "Somebody else should step up. Somebody else should tell her story." She concluded by noting, "I just want her story to be told, and I want it to be right, because she deserves it. And America deserves it. Because the Americans that inhabit today's America deserve her story to be told." Nina Simone's story has been told numerous times on the screen, including two recent documentaries. Saldana says she has learned from the experience.
At the time of the film’s long-stalled release, Nina Simone’s estate took to Twitter to decry the casting. “Please take Nina’s name out of your mouth. For the rest of your life. Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now.” The film was inevitably shredded by critics, with a whopping 2% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Back in 2016, Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly went on record to somewhat defend Saldana against criticisms in a Time interview. “It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture,” Kelly said. “It’s clear she brought her best to this project, but unfortunately she’s being attacked when she’s not responsible for any of the writing or the lies.”
Source: Press Release