Zoe Saldana, who portrayed Nina Simone in the controversial biopic “Nina,” released this April, has fired back over criticism about her casting as the late American singer.
“There’s no one way to be black,” the actress says in a recent interview for Allure’s July cover story. “I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.”
Controversy over her casting began after it was announced in 2012; in the film, the light-skinned Saldana wears dark makeup and face-altering prosthetics, which many fans see as a kind of blackface. Simone’s daughter, Simone Kelly, has been vocal against the film’s production since 2006.
Saldana also condemns critics who deemed her “too pretty” to play Simone, noting “I never saw her as unattractive. Nina looks like half my family! But if you think the [prosthetic] nose I wore was unattractive, then maybe you need to ask yourself, What doyouconsider beautiful?”