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Fan Cast Favorite India.Arie Speaks Bluntly About Zoe Saldana’s Nina Simone Film

Fan Cast Favorite India.Arie Speaks Bluntly About Zoe Saldana's Nina Simone Film

Let me preface this by saying that we certainly aren’t trying to beat this thing to death (we’ve intentionally skipped a lot of the news related to the project, since it was announced, opting to post only those items that reveal more info about it); but I thought this was worth sharing, if only because India.Arie is one of 3 names (the others being Adepero Oduye and Viola Davis) that have been mentioned quite a lot, here and all over the web, in discussious about who should have played Nina Simone, over Zoe Saldana.

And after being asked about starring in a Nina Simone movie for, as she says, years, Arie finally speaks on the project, and, of course, Zoe Saldana’s casting. 

In reading her words, I was actually surprised at just how fiery and blunt she is, which you can read below in full (she posted it at NinaSimone.com by the way):

WHAT I FEEL ABOUT THE NINA SIMONE MOVIE:

People have been asking me for weeks, months, years about a Nina Simone movie, when I heard about Zoe Saldana being cast I reserved judgement, you NEVER know what People are MEANT to do.

SO TODAY I saw the images of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone…

AND I THINK THEY ARE RIDICULOUS!

Yes there should be a movie made, and YES they should have chosen someone who LOOKS like Nina Simone, ESPECIALLY since her RACE played such a PIVOTAL role in WHO, WHAT and WHY, she was.

THAT ASIDE for a second, this just looks WEIRD, it looks like a person in Black(er) face with a fake nose … REALLY?!!!!

DOES NOT THE ONE NINA SIMONE’S LEGACY DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS?

If they were going to pick a person who looks NOTHING like Nina Simone … why not her daughter Simone *shrug* just saying …

As hard as Nina had to fight for what she wanted BECAUSE she was black and looked the way she did … THIS looks like a parody. If it has to be FORCED this hard something’s not right!

I am VERY opinionated about music, I can dissect VOCALS ALL DAY, I don’t KNOW ACTING LIKE THAT! But I trust that through her obvious admiration of Nina, that Zoe Saldana can pull off the portrayal ENERGETICALLY …

But these images … just make me feel … SAD. Not because I want to play Nina Simone but because IT FEELS OUT OF PLACE WITH WHAT NINA SIMONE MEANS IN AN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORICAL CONTEXT!!!! (yes I yelled just now – I am emotional about OTHER things today, and I’m riding the wave of that, but this IS WHAT I FEEL…)

I have always been OPEN to playing Nina, but I never saw its as my RIGHT! I am clearly Nina Simone’s Physical Heir Apparent, THAT doesn’t mean I SHOULD play her, its been tossed around A LOT, for a LONG TIME. I back down because I feel her legacy deserves better than a FIRST TIME MOVIE ACTRESS, I’m like that about my heroes. If I ever FELT I was truly CALLED to play her, I would. And maybe Zoe Saldana REALLY is BEING CALLED SPIRITUALLY TO PLAY THIS ROLE …

But I DO NOT LIKE these PICTURES. AT ALL.

SEEING Nina Simone changed my life, when I was 17 My cousin and I tried to call her … Whole NOTHER story ….

I will END this by saying I think VIOLA DAVIS should be playing Nina Simone.

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