Zoe Saldana being cast as the soul legend Nina Simone for the biopic ‘Nina’ caused some not inconsiderable controversy after its trailer emerged earlier this year.
Appearing to have been made darker with make-up and wearing a prosthetic nose, the US-born actress, who is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent took a heft amount of flack, notably from the estate of the singer itself.
After posting a quote from Simone, they tweeted back: “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life.”
She’s now slammed those who deemed her to be 'not black enough’ for the role.
“There’s no one way to be black,” she said in an interview with Allure.
“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.
“The fact that we’re talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We f***ing won. 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.”
Speaking about the prosthetics used, she added: “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?
To add to its woes, the movie, directed by Cynthia Mort and co-starring David Oyelowo, was mercilessly panned by critics.
It holds a catastrophic 3% 'fresh’ rating from reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that just 3% of the reviews it received were positive.
“Let it be the first movie. If you think you can do it better, then by all means,” she went on.
“Let ours be version number one of 10 stories in the next 10 years about the f***ing iconic person that was Nina Simone.”
Image credits: RLJ/Getty/Yahoo File