Zoe Saldana responds to 'Nina' backlash: "You have no idea who I am. I am black."
June 17, 2016 at 4:50 am
With the latest film in the Star Trek franchise coming out soon, Zoe Saldana is making press rounds in promotion of the movie. After her casting in the Nina Simone biopic that was released earlier this year, Saldana and the film received negative critical and commercial backlash. Ever since she was selected to play the role, she’s always defended her right to play the role and asserted her blackness.
Now in a new interview from Allure, Saldana comes out swinging again against the critics who didn’t think she should have played Simone, as well as those who don’t think she is black enough.
“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 said.
Saldana also addressed the use of makeup and prosthetics for the role, saying that people who have a problem need to look at society’s beauty standards. “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 do you consider beautiful? Do you consider a thinner nose beautiful, so the wider you get, the more insulted you become?” she said.
The actress says she still thinks they made a good move with the film. “The fact that we’re talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We f*cking won. For so many years, nobody knew who the fuck she was. She is essential to our American history. As a woman first, and only then as everything else.”
She suggests the is a larger issue of black actresses being cast period, not an issue of which actress is cast in the role, saying “Let it be the first movie. If you think you can do it better, then by all means. Let ours be version number one of ten stories in the next ten years about the f*cking iconic person that was Nina Simone.”
A very interesting interview indeed! You can read the full interview, in which she talks about being a mother, female solidarity and more at Allure.