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India.Arie has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the casting of Zoë Saldana as Nina Simone in the upcoming biographical film about her life.

The 40-year-old, who portrayed Simone onscreen in a 2003 episode of “American Dreams,” has been vocal in her opposition to Saldana in the role. She saw an early version of “Nina” three years ago and said, “the way she looked in the movie was ugly.”

Writing of Saldana’s strategically-darkened skin and added prosthetics on Nina Simone’s dedicated website, Arie said “it looks like a person in Black(er) face with a fake nose.”

In her THR interview, Arie said that she referred to the look as “black(er) face” because she “didn’t know what to call it.”

“[The Nina portrayal] is a caricature,” Arie said. “You had to put a whole other face on someone’s face.”

In 2013, Saldana said of the controversy, “I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that. I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me. So that is my truth and that set me free.”

Noted Arie, “I don’t know her and I don’t think she did anything wrong,” adding, “I think they cast Zoe Saldana because they wanted a big name, but that makes me ask, ‘Is the name Nina Simone not big enough to get people to come to the movie?’ ”

Arie also addressed director Judd Apatow, who responded to the Nina backlash on Twitter, Thursday, writing, “I think all actors should only be allowed to play themselves. It is offensive to pretend to be other people.”

“What he’s saying doesn’t take into account so many things that matter to this story,” Arie told THR. “I see why that is his point of view and he has that right. Why would you have the point of view of a black woman when you’re a white man? I respect his perspective.”

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