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Best In Black Celebrity News & Gossip; Urban Since 2007

She Mad!! India.Arie BLASTS Zoe Saldana Over Nina Simone Role

I don’t know why people are REALLY hard pressed over Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone. Yes, physically it’s a stretch but it’s not like we haven’t seen actors playing roles of people who aren’t their physical or even ethnic equal.  My only concern is I don’t want it to come off as campy. But there are people out there with a whole list of reasons.  The next singer to publicly speak out is singer India.Arie.  Writing a message that was posted on NinaSimone.com, India pretty much puts Zoe through the ringer and hangs her out to dry. There’s strong words, lots of exclamation points and LOTS of cap locked yelling in what I can only call a rant. It’s also interesting to note that India mentions that SHE looks just like Nina and had always been open to playing her. Hmm. Jealousy or nah?  Read the full message below and judge for yourself:

Beverly Kearney 6th Annual Mentorship India Arie She Mad!! India.Arie BLASTS Zoe Saldana Over Nina Simone Role


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…


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?!!!!


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 …


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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  1. He rant doesn’t seem to come from an jealous or “mad” place. The still pictures do look like a parody with the dark makeup, widened nose and terrible wig. It seems that she interjected that she personally rejected previous offers to play the role because she didn’t feel that she would do it 360 degree justice. Sure she could pull off the look, music, and the soul, but she’s not an actor and knows her limitations. I think her point is to question WHY Zoe Saldana of all of Hollywood’s black actresses. It’s the same reason that it’s ridiculous to imagine Halle playing Aretha Franklin or if a young actress was chosen to play an older one in a “just apply makeup wrinkles and go” effort. Roles are more easily believed and less of a distraction when the people playing the roles are believable.

    • *Her rant*
      *a jealous place*
      (Sorry for the typos… I was on my phone)

  2. I think she may be a bit jealous and truth be told, she would be a better likeness of Nina, but she has to understand they want the movie to make money, so most of the time it’s about Star Power and Honestly She doesn’t have too much of it. So she might as well suck it up and get over it! what’s done is done!

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