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New Photos Of Zoe Saldana In Full Nina Simone Regalia Surface; Convinced?

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by Courtney
October 28, 2012 11:49 AM
142 Comments
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ZOE NINA

Compared to the first set of photos I posted last week (there've been others since then), these new pics show a Zoe Saldana that's much further into the transformation to Nina Simone than what we've seen previously, so we had to share. 

What might she look like on film, when it's been shot, post-production is complete, etc? We'll just have to wait to find out.

We continue to hope that we will get to talk to director Cynthia Mort eventually, so that all the questions many of you have can be answered. I'm especially curious about who exactly the target audience for this is, because black America seems to have near-universally rejected the projected. Although I can't speak for everyone. But It's a rare thing to find a single positive comment about this anywhere - and not just on S&A, but across the entire black blogosphere.

As was recently announced, Mike Epps joined the cast, playing Richard Pryor. And David Oyelowo will be Nina's Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson. Also revealed by BlackFilm.com is that Kevin Mambo has been cast in the film as well.

The movie started filming earlier this month in Los Angeles, with Mark BurtonBarnaby ThompsonStuart Parr and Ben Latham Jones producing.

It should be out in 2013.

Here are the rest of the photos:

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142 Comments

  • taliba | May 23, 2013 4:09 PMReply

    OMG!!! Why in this wide earth would we have Zoe in blackface as Nina!? It's not like she's such a fantastic actress only she could play the part! There was absolutely no reason for this choice! The best thing I can do for myself in this case is don't go see it!

  • noozay | May 7, 2013 12:50 PMReply

    meh not too shabby.
    But say im gonna make a bruce lee movie, do i go for brad pitt or jet li. Seriously it is what it is, there are black actresses in excess that better suit the job of portraying a civil rights activist (famous for her hit 'young gifted and black' i might add) . its a sensitive issue just like the japanese were mad at the white guy who played goku

  • G.Pope | March 15, 2013 9:59 AMReply

    The major problem with this casting is that it is reminiscent of the issues African Americans have had in the past with white women being cast as African Americans in earlier movies when there were most that enough capable dark skinned real African American sisters and brothers available to act in these productions, particularly those portraying sister Simone who would be turning over in her grave about now seeing what they are doing to her being the REAL AFRICAN WOMAN THAT SHE ALWAYS WAS. The least that they could have done was cast a naturally dark skinned talented African American actress in this part. It is as if none of the other exceptionally talented dark skinned African American actresses are being given such opportunities once again. Well, Hollywood is just as retarded as ever!!!!

  • Sanaa | January 17, 2013 5:22 PMReply

    ONE: These pictures are not new, now granted this article is dated back to Oct but they weren't new then either. I saw them when the debacle first hit.

    TWO: It's worth repeating; there is no shortage of Black Women with the chops to play Nina. It's a meaty role, I get why Zoe would WANT to play Nina but she should have passed it up so people wouldn't be so sidetracked by all this mania that Lady Simone's story would be lost. I mean, when you have to use more make up than you did to play an alien (Avatar) at what point doesn't someone say, call Viola Davis STAT!

    THREE: If after all that enhancement she was gonna end up looking like Regina King rather than Nina Simone, then they should have just cast Regina King (who, at least, has the chops to play Nina)

  • anon | January 7, 2013 9:18 AMReply

    they need a whole make up and prostestic department JUST to make her look like an ordinary black woman? WOW! bw must be seriously despised if they are willing to spend that much on production over just getting a black actress that didnt need any of that gunk on their faces to play nina.

  • For True | May 23, 2013 5:04 PM

    This is actually for the comment below @afrolatina. You should really calme down. I will first say that I am both Hispanic and african, and you almost made valid points, but you showed more of your own ignorance by jumping the gun on your personal plight and neglecting the issue here. It was a bad casting. If the general public doesnt read Zoe Saldana as black, guess what? That's not a mistake. Her racial abiguity is part of the package thats gotten her success thus far, and no one is talking about her blackness - we're talking about how wrong she is for the part. I can think of a million other black women this role wouldnt be good for. But to neglect the numerous names that DO fit this role, and wouldve been proud to play it is just plain stupid -to make it anything more than that ups the stupidity. Truth is, the demographic for this movie isnt black america, it's for white america. Zoe Saldana was chosen as a pawn, she's slender with fine features and is the racially ambiguous gold mine that Hollywood likes to strike (show me a commerical with a black woman or girl who doesnt have curly hair or read hispanic -there always has to be a trace of *not completely black* of *don't worry, theres something else mixed in there*. It's never just your average black girl). She's non threatening, and thats what sells. the audience they want to pay to see this movie are spectators only. The people who will say "what a heavy story" just long enough to feel good about "educating" themselves via a biopic, but can then remedy the discomfort by reminding themselves "oh its just Saldana in costume. It's *just* a movie. I'm sure they even dramatized some of this". She was chosen because what she represents can make an uncomfortable truth, more comfortable. White folk aint trynna see Viola.

  • AfroLatina Pride | April 14, 2013 12:09 PM

    She IS black FYI. The make up is to make her look closer to the real person. They DID get a black actress and ZOE is that BLACK actress.

    African Americans have issues... You are ignorant, dont know shit about the diaspra and don't know shit about African culture where as afro latinas are closer to their African ancestors than African Americans who have NO African culture at all. You discriminate against members of your own race for having lighter or darker skin colors than you. You discriminate against native africans who come to the united states for being straight out of Africa instead of welcoming them. You discriminate against afro latinas like Zoe Salanda saying she's not black enough, when she has more African culture that you could ever dream to have because you African Americans forgot your culture and became completely americanized. If anything Zoe is more African and closer to being black than African Americans when it comes to culture.

    You people have issues.

  • CKR | December 22, 2012 3:19 AMReply

    I have two things to say the first is Regina King should play Nina, and the second is please boycott Cleopatra when its released. Angelina Jolie should be ashamed of herself.

  • BKM | December 7, 2012 1:29 AMReply

    Seriously poor casting decision... There is no shortage of talented dark skinned African-American actresses or singers that could have played this part. BTW I am a Zoe fan but she has no business playing this part.

  • elle | January 28, 2013 11:34 AM

    Cleopatra was a Greek, a white woman. Her family ruled Egypt for awhile, so don't bother with a boycott. If she tries to step up to the role of Nefertiti, then I will be in the streets with you.

  • reece | November 15, 2012 10:18 AMReply

    So happy for Zoe! Every actor deserves material that will allow them to show what they can do and truly hope this is that film for Zoe!!!

  • Joan | November 14, 2012 10:47 AMReply

    Rosylyn Ruff is clearly a excellent choice for Nina Simone. I agree I cannot imagine why the director is so obstinate as to believe she cannot take the opinions of Black people who are familiar, beyond words, with the issues of color. Painting this actress darker is not the point. I seriously doubt a dark skinned actress would play Lena Horne; nor could she painted lighter. I am sure Zoe is familiar with the issues of color because she is from Dominican Republic and the near universal rejection of her by Black people must be hurtful but, she is a big girl and is savy enough to know that her light color gave her the Uhura role (another dark skinned woman) and now Nina.

  • Nutritious | November 12, 2012 7:26 AMReply

    Black people....you wanna finally make a statement that these people can't buy your consciousness......DON'T SEE THE MOVIE. Cause I guarantee that if Danny Glover was playing Lincoln, you'd see how fast that movie would flop, like your version of The Wiz, white ppl didn't pay to support that shit.

  • rebel | November 10, 2012 12:27 PMReply

    black Hollywood better put there money together and redo this bull----! this is an injustice to Nina . Cast India Aire or nicki micheaux so we can kick this to the curb. This what happens when you let white people tell our stories. Mort is gay ,was Zoe some fantasy of hers she just couldn't consider other perfect dark skin actresses for this role. ?? GTFOH with this!!

  • elle | January 28, 2013 12:07 PM

    This whole thing reminds me of the dust up back in the mid-nineties when JLo, a Puerto-Rican woman was cast to play Selena, a Chicana. Personally, I would prefer a darker-skinned, African American as opposed to a lighter skinned Afro-Latina to play one of my own. But it's not that much of a travesty to me. At least Saldana IS black and she looks close enough like Nina (except her lips aren't as full) to suspend belief. And the woman can act and she can sing too. Plus she has a name and mainstream appeal. That's why this movie is even getting made. The one complaint I really have is that her makeup is jacked up.

  • Jus | November 9, 2012 10:08 PMReply

    No
    Just No. I'm sorry. I mean I am all for a film of "Our" heroes being made, but you can't tan or spray someone a color for a role.

  • jeanettesdaughter | November 9, 2012 10:04 AMReply

    absurd and insulting.

  • Tragic Arrangements | November 8, 2012 3:09 AMReply

    HORRID! not interested.. won't pay a THIN PENNY to see it either.

  • Alia | November 7, 2012 11:18 PMReply

    I know and understand the argument for Zoe's casting and personally, I don't think her acting ability is all that great. Viola Davis would be the perfect choice.. but I'm sticking firm to the notion that certain prominent actresses didn't want to touch this particular depiction of Nina. There are obvious inaccuracies in the scripts. They passed and Zoe took it. I'd be embarrassed to be working on this film.

  • Z Strachan | November 5, 2012 11:52 AMReply

    Proof is in the pudding. Let's see what happens when the movie comes out.

  • Masha Dowell | November 2, 2012 8:01 PMReply

    I love Nina Simone. I like Zoe. I wish this project well. Someone can always create their own version of it...

  • Said in Los Angeles | November 2, 2012 12:49 AMReply

    Nina Simmone's story has been around for a long time, if she meant that much to Black People, Black People would have collaborated to produce her story years ago...Other people make these movies because we don't.

  • Nemesis | November 27, 2012 4:16 AM

    @ALM: Have you considered that the people making this film didn't go to Hollywood for permission or funding? This is not a Hollywood production. Hollywood is not the be all and end all when it comes to filmmaking.

  • ALM | November 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    @ Said: Have you ever considered the fact that someone Black proposed a film of this nature years ago in Hollywood, but was told "no" and denied the necessary funding to make a proper biopic representing Ms. Simone's amazing body of work?

  • Becrec | November 1, 2012 11:26 PMReply

    We can complain until the cows come home. Just do not go to see this movie. Anyone involved in this mess should be run out of town. Nina Simone deserves better!!

  • Carlos Alberto Moschini Ibarra | November 1, 2012 4:17 PMReply

    I think her image is quite good. The art of make-up is today incredible. I think what matters is that Zoe Zaldaña do a good perfomance, and I'm very sure she's very able to get it. Let's debate the exact character traits for purists or those who do not dare to admit that they are racist about an actress who is not African American. Carlos A. Moschini, from Barcelona, Spain

  • KM | February 24, 2013 7:01 PM

    Carlos, you obviously do not know who Nina Simone was and what her message stood for and meant/means for Black people all over the world. You also obviously have no knowledge of the prevailing issue of 'shadeism' and the its overwhelming effects on communities of colour. Pls educate yourself before making such ignorant comments.

  • Ri | October 31, 2012 1:45 PMReply

    So this all because Zoe is Hispanic? Yes she is Hispanic but she's also black Hispanic. Just like there are white Hispanics. If you're mixed with white and black you're considered black. What's the difference?

  • Naimah White | November 1, 2012 7:31 AM

    Let's not be ignorant. It's not the fact that she's mixed. If she were all black she still wouldn't be right for the role. You obviously don't know anything about Nina Simone. She was ALL about her BLACKNESS. It was what inspired and made her. The problem is Hollywood's, no the entire entertainment industries aversion and refusal to put dark skinned women on TV. You can't tell me viola Davis isn't perfect for this role. Strong actor, she can sing AND she's dark skinned, naturally. But no they'd rather give some watered down, light skinned chick the role and completely cover her in dark makeup. How ridiculous is that? She's not even a strong actress. It is about race. Not the fact that she's mixed but that we can't have anyone on TV that looks like me. And I say #*^~ that.

  • cc | October 31, 2012 1:40 PMReply

    Okay, so aside from the casting/makeup issues, which I'm sure will be discussed by other commenters, the wardrobe makes me raise an eyebrow.

    While there's often great costuming in awful films (just look at some of those nominated for Oscars in costume design), it RARELY works in the opposite direction. Great period films get the costuming right. A lack of attention to detail and historical accuracy is a really bad sign for the overall quality of the film.

    Obviously, they might look different on film, but right now they really look more like a modern interpretation of a 'retro' look than great period costumes.

  • vm | October 31, 2012 4:51 AMReply

    I wonder what would happen if they had Zoe play Marilyn Monroe in a movie....would white people be outraged??? Or if Jennifer Aniston acted as Selena???

  • Nina | November 8, 2012 12:21 AM

    Actually, a Hispanic woman played Selena (Jennifer Lopez). Yet, people were STILL outraged that a Puerto Rican was casted to play Mexican Selena! Evidence of how ridiculous people get with race!

    Zoe got the part! If it takes a black hispanic to get white people to the movies to be educated about an important black woman in music history then I say, so what? P.S. Maybe Viola didn't want the project.

  • B | October 31, 2012 12:02 AMReply

    Just terrible. I will not spend a single penny on this film. Zoe and Mort and everyone else who produced this just be ashamed of themselves. Personally, I think Aisha Hinds would have been perfect for this role, with Ava Duvernay as the writer and director. But, alas, I can only wish...

  • ALM | October 31, 2012 2:16 PM

    @ B: Aisha Hinds would have been another amazing choice. I would love to see Ava put her touch on a biopic at this level.

  • Jay | October 30, 2012 1:57 PMReply

    I am glad to see that we are concerned about letting our legacy be defined by Hollywood. But it is partly our fault because we (blacks) are so quick to accept anyone as part of the group without realizing that some only want temporary association with blacks when it is convenient for self-promotion.
    Most Dominicans or Puerto Ricans find it offensive to be called ‘BLACKY’ when they are in their countries; or territory, in the case of Puerto Rico.
    I am personally a fan of Zoe, but for the purpose of this endeavor ‘I think it’s just WRONG!

  • Nina | November 8, 2012 12:31 AM

    Exactly, we are quick to put her on the cover of ESSENCE and EBONY, but she's not black enough to play Nina Simone. The only thing worst than racism is complexionist amongs black women!

  • Michele | October 30, 2012 1:52 PMReply

    Regardless of whether Zoe is miscast in this role, and any Hollywood politics associated with it, the movie is being made. I am kind of tired of this argument at this point. I would encourage her daughter or anyone with the resources to get a film made to get on Indie A Gogo or Kickstarter and raise some money and get your own film financed. I would definitely contribute. Coco Chanel had several biopics made and released in the same year, there's no reason Nina can't have more than one.

  • rob | October 30, 2012 10:47 AMReply

    I like the makeup and I like Zoe's acting, so I look forward to seeing this now.
    My cousins are Dominican, grew up in Detroit, MI....embrace the diaspora folks.

  • Nadine | October 30, 2012 3:00 AMReply

    I love me some Zoe, but this casting is just plain wrong. The thing is she is shooting... the deal is done. So at this point, we're just venting which I understand (I'm thinking that she will look better in the final product with post likely enriching her skin - one hopes). I do also hope that she understands that we are more questioning the choice of her physicality for the lead role of a woman who spoke regularly of the concept of Blackness and her personal pride, and not her [Zoe's] abilities as an actress. We know that it has been rare for Hollywood/Entertainment to prefer any dark woman to any light (the opposite being true for Black men) in casting unless there is some sort of "pathology", only recently (within the last year) have their been some improvements (basically post Red Tails). I'm just going to copy and paste a statement I saw on facebook yesterday having to do with the historical ramifications of going back in time to remove the presence of dark-skinned women in a society that is near-singularly focused and openly biased towards women of color who don't mirror, or prop up this ideal of white womanhood. " I feel like all of these things are wake up calls. Not only are they trying to erase us from our present, but they are trying erase us from the varied and monumental contributions of our past (Harriet Tubman and now this). Lil Reese, this colorism BS, means that we have to step up and start retelling our own stories - before they cast Grace Bumbry, Leontyne Price, Diana Ross, with Paula Patton and Halle Berry... soon our children will think that nothing of value can come from any woman with a hue darker than a walnut." - facebook post

  • Shaunie | October 30, 2012 2:42 AMReply

    Zoe Saldana is NOT in "blackface." Blackface was a specific form of theatrical makeup which exaggerated the features of people of color for the sole purpose of performing and promoting stereotypical behavior for entertainment. This is NOT what this is.

    I know that's a buzzword that will keep the controversy of her casting going and will help to further illustrate why she seems to be the wrong choice for the role of Nina Simone and it's still not blackface. I find that label disturbing because (as I've already stated) I do not agree with the choice of casting, but an actor wearing costume makeup is a normal part of show business and performance. Depending on who One is playing, it may call for them to do darken/lighten their skin with make up. Forest Whitaker had on darker makeup in "The King of Scotland." And "blackface" was much darker than Zoe's makeup, which I may mention, we see under natural lighting and not studio/set lighting in which it will look totally different.

    I too think they should have cast a darker complected actor however this is still not "blackface" as it has been conventionally defined.

  • KM | February 24, 2013 7:18 PM

    @Orville: Before making sweeping comments about Afro-Latino's, please do your research. I am an Afro-Latina who could equally speak on the ignorance and self-indulgence of African-Americans in regards to other African diasporas.

    I do, however, don't agree with Zoe Saldana playing the role but it has nothing to do with her being Latina but has everything to do with her being a light-skinned Latina. I respect Nina Simone's message and her appearance as a proud, unapologetic dark-skinned Black woman. Of course that should be honoured in this film, which it isn't and I will not support it....However, due to your degrading comments about Afro-Latino peoples, you, Orville, seem to suffer from something called xenophobia.

  • Akimbo | October 31, 2012 12:15 AM

    I don't think you know what blackface is. And your comments on some Afro-Latinos aren't relevant to Zoe who is not ashamed to call herself a black woman. Seriously, pick a new tune.

  • Orville | October 31, 2012 12:10 AM

    Shaunie you are wrong, Zoe Saldana is indeed in blackface her face is being darken to help present the image she's a dark skinned black woman even though she's not.
    This movie isn't even made for black people this is obviously a movie meant to appeal to white audiences.
    Well a lot of those Afro Latinos or whatever you want to call them don't even consider themselves a part of the black race anyway. In fact, in the Dominican Republic over 70% of the so called blacks there see themselves as mulattoes and not as black.
    Some of those Afro Latinos have a very racist and anti black attitude it is well known just have to open up a history text book and read what they think about black people.

  • Nadine | October 30, 2012 3:08 AM

    That is also a good point Shaunie. When we see Black Face... WE'LL KNOW IT! Black Face also had to do with the removal of the dignity of the character being played. I would not equate this with what some of the predominantly non-Black fraternities and sororities do when they are bored, or for Halloween. Poppin a dread wig or afro on their heads while smearing a color on their face.

  • Addison | October 30, 2012 1:07 AMReply

    I think the actor Kimberly Elise would have been superb as Nina Simone.

  • nixxon | October 29, 2012 7:11 PMReply

    Tropic Thunder come to life. Does Hollywood not know that movie was supposed to be an outlandish parody?

  • Blessed | October 29, 2012 6:42 PMReply

    When did Zoe or Halle Berry become fair skin or light skin? Zoe is brown, Vanessa Williams, Mariah Carey, Jasmine Guy, Soledad Obrien, Suzanne Malveaux, Lisa Bonet, Chante Moore, are what you a call yellow and or light skin. Zoe and Halle are definitely darker than a brown paper bag and with those noses could never pass for white, "octaroon" ,"creole" and/or "quadroon". Remember Irene Cara a Latina played Myrlie Evers.

  • Jennifer | November 3, 2012 7:20 PM

    Beyond her color, Zoe does not have the facial features of Nina Simone, she does not have the bigger lips and rounder face that make Nina look like a Black queen when she wears the headdress.

  • Really | October 30, 2012 9:03 AM

    Ok so does that make it right I agree the deal is done and she is shooting the film there are a lot of beautiful darker sista that would have made a grat Nina Simone and the sad thing is that we in American still think and feel that its is ok not to be the darker sista and why would Zoe want to play any parts a s a black woman since she does not identifiy herself as a black woman. Truthfuly she takes away from authenticity of the role

  • JMac | October 29, 2012 6:53 PM

    Come on now. You know people are comparing Zoe's coloring to Nina Simone's. With that comparison, even a medium skinned black person is too "light" to play Nina. The fact they had to darker her skin at all is a testament to that fact. And even with the darkening she's too light and just looks very, very odd. And that afro wig is a complete joke. They may as well use a white woman if this is the final product.

  • Cynthia Udhiri | October 29, 2012 6:31 PMReply

    I'd like to comment on your “Nina Simone” movie starring Zoe Saldana. First of all I applaud you for taking on the project. Nina was an important woman in the African American community and a movie about her is long overdue. I must say that in spite of all the good about the movie, I am bothered by your choice of Zoe Saldana to play the role of Nina. I just viewed the “New Photos of Zoe Saldana in Full Simone Regalia” on your website, and disappointed by what I saw. Zoe’s skin has been darkened, her afro wig is awful, and her facial features have been doctored to look more Nina’s. Her look is not at all convincing. I know transforming an actor’s appearance to look like his/her character is common. What bothers me is your failure to select a more seasoned African American actress who would not require such a makeover because she already has dark skin, kinky hair and broad facial features. A few who come to mind are Viola Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Morgan, Phyllis Yvonne Stickney, Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett and Regina King I think Zoe is a fine young actress in her own right but she is not the best choice for the great Nina Simone. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

  • Orville | October 29, 2012 4:19 PMReply

    Zoe Saldana is a hypocrite because she does not MARKET herself as a black actress she markets herself as a LATINA. After Avatar all Zoe talked about is her latin roots and latin this and latin that. Zoe also criticized black actors for complaining about racism. Saldana plays with race she
    is black when it is convenient for her career. To darken her skin is so disrespectful and a complete form of blackface.

  • Susan | November 9, 2012 12:25 PM

    I disagreement with the casting of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone. Zoe does not identify herself as a black woman. You can not beat her for letting us know she is latino. She is black when it is good for her career. I would rather see a soul sister such as Viola Davis play this role

  • Really | October 30, 2012 9:09 AM

    Actually NO she does not she was in a issue of Essence Magazine and she reported that she was Latina there was no mention of Afro Latina and the sad thing is she wants to remove herself farawy from the Black race why take on black roles Drumline, Nina Simone project its not right there are way tooo many beautiful black women that could play that role and true fans of Nina Simone when they come out and see it its not going to be authentic........ If Nina"s daughter not agreeing with the cast and even in Nina"s own word she saw herself played by Whoopi Goldberg really that is a huge difference between Whoopi and ZOE

  • Donella | October 29, 2012 7:52 PM

    You already mentioned this further down in another post. You should stop. Zoe Saldana has always claimed to be Black and Latina. BLACK and Latina. Every single time she's been asked.

  • BeautyIAM | October 29, 2012 7:41 PM

    Seriously, you are being a real asshole. Zoe has ALWAYS STATED THAT SHE IS A BLACK LATINA. Can you actually provide proof that she has stated that she is "Latina." Also, people can be Black and Latino. They are not mutually exclusive. You're just being a dick because you hate Zoe. I also don't agree with the casting decision. But I'm not going to insult her by creating lies about her. I really wish you would shut up about this.

  • bondgirl | October 29, 2012 4:40 PM

    Just so you know, you are one step away from hate mail using cut out magazines. Chill.

  • Grace fouche' | October 29, 2012 4:02 PMReply

    By the way if I see one more fake afro on another African american actor or actress I will scream !! Zoe you got to know this is not for you .

  • Grace Fouche' | October 29, 2012 4:00 PMReply

    Why in the world does Hollywood continue to rewrite our History ? Our Sheroes should never be changed to look the way YOU (Hollywood) think they should ! From what I have read even family members have rejected Zoe in this part . Zoe is a great actor ..but not so great it's o.k. to degrade Nina's memory . Degrade her with Black Face , fake nose .. Fake Nina . Why do we always play into the hands of White Hollywood ?

  • kirk | October 29, 2012 3:14 PMReply

    I know who I am! I'm a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude!

  • kirk | October 29, 2012 7:21 PM

    I don't break character till the DVD comes out.

  • Luce | October 29, 2012 7:14 PM

    Lol! I actually got that.

  • Toi | October 29, 2012 1:59 PMReply

    Zoe Saldana should know better! She is not hurting for roles and know she will not be beleiveable as this wonderful soul. What is even worse is the woman that wrote and directed this is not even speaking with Nina's daughter for input. I hope it flops and never makes it to the screen. This is so sad.

  • ChgoSista | October 29, 2012 1:19 PMReply

    Those Burberry gloves (at least I THINK they're Burberry) are fierce...

  • gola | October 29, 2012 10:46 AMReply

    nice brown outfit!

  • Brenda Perry | October 29, 2012 10:37 AMReply

    I love Zoe Saldana's abilities. She's a fine actor. That being said, is that the best makeup job they could do? It still looks like a bad spray tab. About as convincing as Mitt Romney's Tex-Mex paint job for the Hispanic vote. They can do, and should have done, better.

  • Patrice Blackburn | October 30, 2012 3:36 PM

    My sentiments exactly!

  • sybil | October 29, 2012 10:36 AMReply

    wrong wrong wrong not going hope it flops and they loose all their money oops forgot thos people who have no sense will go to see this NOT ME

  • Forest Brown | October 29, 2012 8:50 AMReply

    I dislike this Hollywood choice, I believe Ms. Viola Davis to be superior Actress, and perfect for the role of The High Priestess of Soul, Miss Nina Simone. Indie Arie, should sing sountrack. Hollywood sells sex, that's why Ms. Saldana it their safe pick, Not too Black, non threatening for their white money paying fans.!!

  • SYBIL | October 29, 2012 10:36 AM

    you are so right

  • renee | October 29, 2012 7:59 AMReply

    If you want this to change, Pls sign the Petition!!!!!!! Share it with your friends!!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/jimmy-iovine-cynthia-mort-replace-zoe-saldana-with-an-actress-who-actually-looks-like-nina-simone

  • sergio | October 29, 2012 8:27 AM

    Hey it's WAY to late for any petition to get the producers to stop shooting the film and re-cast the thing. C'mon be realistic. You think that's actually going to work or you're just doing this because it'll make you feel better? Just don't see the film when it comes out.

  • Geneva Girl | October 29, 2012 3:29 AMReply

    Wrong on so many levels. What's even more sad is that Hollywood loves transformations like this. It smells AWARD SEASON. I will be quite amused to read the comments here if and when she is nominated for a major award.

  • PAUL ROBERSON | October 29, 2012 2:51 AMReply

    WELL...WHAT OF THE LEGACY OF "SAY IT LOUD, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD..! MAYBE LEFT OUT OF THE JAMES BROWN STORY/MOVIE! INCREDIBLE--IF WE ALLOW IT TO BECOME SO! This MONUMENTAL SONG was absolutely genius and would become PIVOTAL, and IS the greater legacy of this SOULFUL man! It is mostly unknown that James was prompted, to take the "CONK," out of his hair by Paul Roberson, photographer…saying, "And when YOU DO, it will say it loud, I am black and proud!" REAL FACTS, as stated in in video interview of Mr. Brown,by Paul himself…who moved him to write this powerful and EVENTUAL signature song of the late 1960's "Black-Pride," and "Black Power" movement--and AS IT WAS written, 2 night later... becoming the prime mover & shaker "PRIDE-SONG" that which DID SO powerfully become the SLUMBERING "Black Power" revolution's self-pride MONTRA & philosophical theme motivation song! "SAY IT LOUD…" as James Brown's entreatment awakening self-hate-filled NEGROS to a BLACK-PRIDE, he unknowingly actually EMpowered up and "Pride-Filled," a nation of post-slavery, "Willie-Lynched" and down-trodden people! THIS SONG, so monumentally--SERVED, to change us diasporatic Afreckans--from NEGRO-2-BLACK! REAL-TALK! THIS IS JAMES BROWN'S AWESOME LEGACY…AND, ITS OURS TOO! That legacy which WE ALL NEED actually DEMAND to be HIGH-LIGHTED FACTUALLY within any movie by director SPIKE LEE--or anyone else! NO other of his record sales and songs "LIVING N AMERICA" included...have been the greater aspect of this man's ENTIRE entertainment LEGACY--and, it cannot be allowed to be written out of "OUR-JAMES BROWN-FACTUAL STORY…" NOR, should such important FACTS, to become an UNTOLD aspect within the JAMES BROWN STORY/MOVIE--OH, HELL NO! So too, the facts MUST BE TOLD...that the FBI CIA & CO-INTELLPRO would have conspired to destroy...AND, DYS-empowered the "BlackPride/POWER" movements--AND with it, James BROWN's business empire…using taxes as an excuse! THIS, after his powerful appeal for NATIONAL calm, succeeded to subdue "Black-RAGE," over the death of MLK…AND, STOP the rioting black masses across this country! NSA saying NO BLACK MAN will be EVER BE allowed to control the minds and masses of NEGROS! AS SUCH, James Brown's voice was heard on tens of thousands of radio stations, and TV! IT WAS HEARD, just as, LOUD, as MLK'S!!! AND, AS SUCH…{SIC} and in the view of the US GOVERNMENT, James Brown--his communications network--and, the "Say it loud, PHILOSOPHIES had such great affect, as to represented a threat to the government "CONTROL OF THE NEGROE," and…TO the national socio-economic security of our oppressors! AND, IT ALL THIS BEFELL THIS WONDERFUL MAN and AROSE, as a direct result of his singing, "SAY IT LOUD, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD…all across the nation!" Bringing instant consciousness was seen to top the heads of million of negroes--who instantly became "BLACK AND PROUD!" AND, on the command of JAMES BROWN...with his lyrics calling for Negros to become "Black & Proud, which was in all facts--borne of a Black-Pride suggestion, to take the CONK outta his hair...Which would say it loud, I'm black and proud! This was said to J.B. in 1968 by activist Paul Roberson, personal photographer to the "Godfather of SOUL..." THIS, backstage one historic night. Days afterwards the SONG was writing in cooperation with CHARLES BOBBIT, J.B'S closest personal friend and manager--just a few nights later! NOW, it has been suggested that Mr. Bobbit and, his loyal services and contribution, NOT BE WRITTEN INTO THE MOVIE--WTF! SO, IS IT the possible resurrection of the Black-Pride Movement--OR, the truth coming out about just how the government deliberately destroyed "THE JAMES BROWN LEGACY!?" C'MON Y'ALL! DON'T LET The JAMES BROWN story BE SET UP NOT TO TELL THE TRUTH of this great artist--AS WELL! JUST WANNA GIVE Y'ALL A HEADS UP...That, SO MANY persons critical to the truth of this man are already feeling that they--are not included in this story--AND, wish to make U'ALL aware of the critical and momentus roles MANY played roles in James Brown's RISE to MEGA stardom…Butt, OUR-STORY NOT TOLD--HELL NO! J.B. STORY--IS OUR STORY TOO!!! OBAPR - 10/28/12

  • Africameleon | October 29, 2012 2:31 AMReply

    I just don't understand.... why? If all they've done is paint her a darker shade of brown, then why not just cast a darker skinned actress who's the same caliber of actor and attractiveness as Zaldana? No need to say anything further except - I just don't understand.

  • Jeni | October 29, 2012 12:28 AMReply

    Ick. Just so, so, so wrong. This movie is beyond DOA.

  • ChaoticDiva | October 28, 2012 10:57 PMReply

    I disagree with the casting. Viola Davis would have been a better choice (in which white people are familiar since they gave her an Oscar nod for 'The Help'). I like Zoe. And I would like to point out to the misinformed commenters that being Latino and being black are NOT mutually exclusive. There are black people in Latin America...have you never heard of Celia Cruz? How about Faizon Love (who was born in Cuba, mind you). Ugh, the ignorance is rampant. Can we as black people stop trying to divide our own group up? No, we are not monolithic, but we need to stop isolating non-American blacks as if they aren't "black enough". It is counterproductive.

    *steps off soap box*

  • Ghost | October 28, 2012 9:31 PMReply

    I keep hearing they should have gotten some dark skinned actress-okay WHO is that dark skinned actress that might have been available? That might have had a name that white folks would know of? Viola? She might not have been available. Alfre Woodard? Whoopi? Madea? Or a no name? Like someone said if this is a film aimed at white folks-you have to get someone they have heard of and thanks to Star Trek-that leaves Zoe.

  • REIKO | October 31, 2012 1:20 PM

    THIS!!! Everyone is assuming that Zoe Saldana was considered with a disregard to all others b/c of her appearance. We don't know if Viola, Adepero or any other actress was available to do the part. We don't know if they liked the script or not. We don't know if they were Nina Simone fans who knew that the story being told was actually not factual and therefore decided against doing the movie!!!!! What we do know is that Zoe saw an opportunity to play an amazing woman. Why shouldn't she take that opportunity? And to say that by using theatrical makeup she is somehow performing in BLACK FACE is insensitive to her as a black woman. I feel for the Halles and the Zoes because the fact that they are multi-racial, they get negativity from all sides. The tired old "she's not black enough" argument is disgraceful and certainly belies a sense of envy and self hatred. She is a black-latino woman she should have the right to seek roles that challenge, inspire, and propel her. Let's stop eating our own and voice our opinions in more constructive ways.

    I agree that Hollywood does need a wakeup call and should stop putting people who have NO IDEA about the stories they are telling at the helm of films that are racially sensitive. This doesn't mean that a white director can't effectively tell stories about black people or other ethnicies. It just means that his effective story telling isn't always compelling but perhaps perfunctory. Stories about people of color deserve better.

  • Orville | October 28, 2012 8:43 PMReply

    This movie is clearly being made for a white audience. Zoe Saldana is such a joke I was never a fan of this lady but this bitch is such a complete disgrace. Saldana talks shit about black actors complaining yet this bitch is quick to take a movie role not meant for her. Clearly, Saldana's face was darkened, why couldn't the studio simply hire a darker skinned black actress to play Nina Simone? Why hire a mixed race Latina to take on the role meant for an authentic black woman with darker skin?
    It looks like this is a similar black face controversy like the Angelina Jolie 2007 A Mighty Heart which bombed at the box office. Many people were offended that Jolie a white actress took on the role as Marianne Pearl who is a woman of colour. Even though Pearl agreed to Jolie playing her Angelina looked so stupid with the kinky curly wig and her skin darkened.

  • lauren | November 1, 2012 9:21 AM

    @Lauren? Apparently we share the same name...only!

  • Enough Already | October 29, 2012 11:32 AM

    Zoe ALWAYS says she's a black woman; she's never claimed anything but. It's fine to be upset about her casting, but stop with the lies.

  • Lauren | October 29, 2012 11:17 AM

    Exactly!! She says all the time that she is 'not black' then why keep taking roles meant for a BLACK woman ho?! She's not even that great an annoying whiny chick who huffs a lot from hunger I think I'll pass.

  • DeanBC | October 28, 2012 7:59 PMReply

    It's a bit hypocritical to be this disrespectful to Zoe while accusing her (and the project) of disrespecting Nina. So what she doesn't look like her? What actress does? How about giving the production a chance before beginning the crucifixion??? All of this is part of the reason that "black movies don't do well." We are so hypercritical of every single decision made before the production is complete. To talk about boycotting the movie is so ridiculous!

  • Shaunie Palmer | October 30, 2012 2:15 AM

    A slight digression - It's still saddens me to read people arguing over labels that define who they are that they had no input in creating. The issue is not what Zoe chooses to call herself or what ethnicities she more closely identifies with, whether that be "black" "latin" or whatever. It's about how she looks versus how Nina Simone looked. As far as I'm concerned, they could have cast Lucy Liu as Nina Simone since they have casted Zoe.

    And it's no pun intended to Zoe Saldana, I'm sure this a great opportunity for her. But the backlash alone . She is arguable the hottest "black" actress out right now and perhaps that had some bearing on the casting. However, all unknowns were cast in "Notorious" and I'm sure unknowns are going to be cast in the upcoming "N.W.A." film that's going into production, so casting an unknown that more closely resembled Nina Simone probably would not have been as big of a financial risk as they may have thought.

    However, to play devil's advocate here - Denzel Washington did play "Malcolm X" and was considerably darker than Malcolm X was and there was no flack about that. Why is it okay on one end but not the other? Some things to think about.

  • Alexis | October 29, 2012 7:23 PM

    I've seen plenty of Zoe's interviews throughout the ten years she's been an actress, and she's NEVER claimed being Black although that is what she is. It's always been my mother is Puerto=Rican and my father is Dominican or vice-versa. She Black when it's convenient.

  • Toi | October 29, 2012 2:05 PM

    It is disrespectful of the director, writer and producer to make a film say it is about Nina Simone, yet you admit to taking "creative liberities" and creating storylines that have nothing to do with the fact of her life or events that happened in her life. THEY MADE CRAP UP THAT THEY THINK WAS GOOD" AND CALLED IT TRUTH. THAT is DISRESPECTFUL. This is not a BLACK movie, it is a movie that someone is making and saying it is about a black woman who is famous, yet they did not and will not speak with this black woman's black daughter who is alive and well and knew her mothers story. So talk of boycotting the movie is not at all ridiculous.

  • sybil ward | October 29, 2012 10:38 AM

    you are an idiot we have tons of actresses who can play the part Nina should be played by one of those not this heffer. She should have turned down the role

  • Banta | October 28, 2012 8:09 PM

    Oh but this is NOT a black movie. Not by a long shot.

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