Zoe Saldana has been cast to play the leading role in Nina Simone’s biopic. The casting wasn’t met without some disdain and a bit of protest, some saying that she just can’t be Nina and that she is too light-skinned for the role.

Writer and director Cynthia Mort notes that the film will simply be a telling of the singer’s love story and not a “by-the-book” retelling of her life.

“There’s a difference between telling a story that include and involves emotion and experiences and doing a biopic – she was born here, she did this, she did that,” Mort explained to the NY Times. “There is also a great story, but that’s not what we’re telling in that kind of linear fashion.”

In the meantime, Nina’s daughter, who simply goes by Simone, expressed her disappointment with the process of the film casting and story telling. She complained that neither she nor her family was consulted.

“As a child, my mother was told her nose was too big and she was too dark,” Simone said.

Further, she noted that the man who is scheduled to be Nina’s love interest was actually gay, and never had a romantic relationship with her mother.

Mike Epps is also set to play Richard Pryor in the biopic.

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5 thoughts on “Zoe Saldana Too Light-Skinned to Play Nina Simone

  1. ima504girl on said:

    First of all, Zoe Saldana is not even Black. She is a proud Latina. Nothing against Zoe Saldana. I think she is a good actress and a beautiful woman. But can’t the sistas have something for ourselves…dang! Nina Simone was a beautiful Black female phenomenom. We do not celebrate Black women & girls enough. Surely there are several Black beauties that can play the heck out of that part! Kimberly Elise comes to mind. I mean really. Give the sistas a break. God knows we deserve one.

  2. ima504girl on said:

    Uh… Yeah… First of all she is not even Black. She is Latina. I have nothing against Latina women. But geez people. Can’t the sistas have anything for US. Nina Simone was a beautiful Black female phenomenom. Surely there are some sisters in the acting game right now that can do the job. I mean really!

  3. mamavictoria on said:

    Yes i agree too light. if you are portraying a person they look is the first step to getting the portrayal correct. I think the daughter of Nina Simone said it best

  4. This has to be be most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Zoe Saldana is too light to play Nina Simone. Was Denzel Washington too dark to play Malcolm X? Was Cicely Tyson too dark to play Coretta Scott King?

    Perhaps, Zoe Saldana is too untalented to play Nina Simone. If she has acting chops remotely similar to the stars mentioned above then, we will see Nina and not Zoe’s complexion. Geez!!!

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