You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zoë Saldana Addresses Nina Simone Biopic Backlash: ‘We F—ing Won’

Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.”

The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out of your mouth. For the rest of your life.”

Now the actress is confronting her critics head on.

“The script probably would still be lying around, going from office to office, agency to agency, and nobody would have done it. Female stories aren’t relevant enough, especially a black female story,” she said in a cover story for Allure. “I made a choice. Do I continue passing on the script and hope that the ‘right’ black person will do it, or do I say, ‘You know what? Whatever consequences this may bring about, my casting is nothing in comparison to the fact that this story must be told.’”

In addition to validating her decision to take the part, the actress also celebrated the visibility she has brought Simone.

“The fact that we’re talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We f—ing won,” she said. “For so many years, nobody knew who the f— she was. She is essential to our American history. As a woman first, and only then as everything else.”

Regarding her skin color, which is much lighter than Simone’s was, Saldana said, “There’s no one way to be black. 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.”

She also commented on her critics’ insults of her prosthetic nose. “I never saw her as unattractive,” she said. “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 do you consider beautiful?’ Do you consider a thinner nose beautiful, so the wider you get, the more insulted you become?”

More Film

  • Touch Me Not

    Berlin Film Review: 'Touch Me Not'

    Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.” The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out […]

  • 'Survivors Guide to Prison' Review

    Film Review: 'Survivors Guide to Prison'

    Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.” The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out […]

  • 'Mute' Review: The Sound Isn't the

    Film Review: 'Mute'

    Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.” The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out […]

  • Taura Stinson, Common, and Diane WarrenVariety

    Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

    Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.” The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out […]

  • Berlin Facetime: Delphine Perrier, Highland Film

    Berlin Facetime: Delphine Perrier, Highland Film Group

    Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.” The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out […]

  • AUGGIE (Jacob Tremblay) and JACK WILL

    Lionsgate's 'Wonder' Tops DVD, Blu-ray Disc Sales and Rental Charts

    Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.” The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out […]

  • Oscar-Nominated Film Editor Edward Abroms Dies

    Oscar-Nominated Film Editor Edward Abroms Dies at 82

    Zoë Saldana is finally addressing her controversial casting as Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic “Nina.” The actress was slammed be her critics for wearing “blackface” and a prosthetic nose in order to play the part. Even Simone’s estate responded to Saldana’s tweeting one of Ms. Simone’s lyrics by writing, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content