Dang India: “I Saw The Images Of Zoe Saldana As Nina Simone And I Think They Are Ridiculous!”

November 7, 2012  |  

Source: WENN

In the midst of creating a laundry list of reasons why Zoe Saldana should not play Nina Simone in the upcoming controversial biopic on the singer, people have been throwing out a number of more suitable, shall we say, actresses who could have played the part. Among the numerous suggestions, India Aire’s name has consistently been included in the pool of potential replacements should director Cynthia Mort have a wake up call, and for the first time the neo-soul singer is speaking out on how she feels about this entire project.

In a post on NinaSimone.com, India put forth some rather candid opinions about the casting of this film, but more so the attempt to make Zoe over into Nina, which after seeing pics of the transformation, India says is utterly “ridiculous.”

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.

I don’t think there’s much else to say. Do you agree with India’s sentiments?

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  • CarlaKah

    YES! India thankyou!

  • new

    i totally understand all of you, it happens all of the time in Hollywood if they are going to play Pancho Villa role they will grab Antonio Banderas who is European, and now they are going to use ZOE for Nina, totally insane but as a Latina I can tell all of you that she is clueless about what Nina stood for, ZOE is at 0 knowledge especially because she was born in the U.S and has come to hollywood to be appreciated for being black looking of a hispanic background yet not Afro-American thats what hollywood will grab first.

  • britt

    They know good and well that Zoe should NOT be portraying Nina Simone. . . Cynthia is trying a little too hard to appeal to the white audience in an effort to make more money. Create a concept that will have the money rolling in with the BEST ACTORS starring in your film and ditch whatever you’re trying to do here.

  • Indigo Moon

    wow!!! that is unreal. i know movie magic BUT i’m sayin’ that not cool on the surface, let alone down deep, which studio backing this?? holy crapollie!!

  • dbatt001

    can i get an Amen on the last thing she said!!!

  • a suggestion…boycott this movie when it comes out

  • Although I agree with India, don’t sleep on Zoe. I think she is well aware of who Nina Simone is. Zoe appears to be a women with a sense of pride and self respect.

    • Cleo

      If she self respect she wouldn’t allow to be put in black face, she should have declined the role that would be displaying respect, not only for herself but Ms Simone.

    • Puhlease. If she’s so aware of who Nina was, she wouldn’t have been so tactless as to accept this role.

  • India.Arie is such a lady. I love the way that she phrased her discontent, and she made a number of excellent points. She’s so humble as well; everyone knows that she would be better suited to this role.

  • Meyaka

    I mean I love Zoe,but why are they not casting someone else? So many questions….

  • I totally agree it would be ashamed to let her play this role, and I love her as an actress but she just is not the one for this part.

  • Cleo

    When are they going to scrap this film already and start fresh, it’s completely disrespectful to Nina Simone and her family. Zoe is very greedy for this.

  • Tamz

    Welp, nothing else left to say….

  • India would be perfect for the role!

  • jackieOsassin

    thank you, india. ohhh…..thank you.

  • janice

    Amen, India very well said!! This whole situation with this movies is WTF!

  • Negress


  • Ann Brown

    I totally agree. India looks more like Nina Simone than Zoe in blackface

  • rzakia

    How can anyone disagree with logic? My only question is why did Zoe agree to play this role? I understand that sometimes you fall in love with a role but every role isn’t for every actor.

    • Because people take our grievances with the casting of the movie and reduce them to the complaints of a bunch of “self-hating, color struck, jealous, overly-critical” black women. Which is not true and is unfair. Many blogs and comments express logically why Zoe Saldana is an irrational choice for Nina Simone.

      Not only does she not look like Nina, she has no musical talent AND her acting is just fair. Those are valid reasons for our complaints.

      This is all booty.

  • Classy. She saying it’s really not about me or Zoe for that matter. It’s about Nina’s legacy and it deserves better than this.

    • Machelle Kwan

      She really does deserver better. But it’s all about hollyweird controlling our images and rewriting OUR History their way. Same story different day. Smh.

  • oh ok…