All Articles Tagged "Zoe Saldana"
By Asha Boston
“So I’m not even being considered to audition for a role because I am ‘too dark’,” tweeted actress Imani Hakim. The former “Everybody Hates Chris” star took to Twitter in mid-July to express her disappointment with the entertainment industry, and to put a spotlight on the issue of colorism in casting. “To think I am almost a perfect match for this role but the slight difference in skin complexion is holding me back I AM mind blown!”
Colorism itself is definitely a mind-blowing concept that continuously shows itself in pop culture. We’ve seen this troubling issue play out in the recent casting controversy for the NWA biopic. Black women and women in general were ranked in alphabetical order based on their features. Women of a lighter complexion were given a B rating while “poor, not in good shape” African-American women of a “medium to dark skin tone” were ranked with a D in the search for extras for the biopic.
Just earlier this month we saw a plethora of Aaliyah and Missy Elliot fans speak out on their disappointment with the casting of Chattrisse Dolabaille (who is of a lighter complexion with curly hair) as Missy Elliott in the upcoming Aaliyah biopic. While there wasn’t much research done or commentary shared on her acting ability, the public made it clear that it will take more than a garbage bag jumpsuit and some finger waves to get Dolabaille anywhere near the likeness of Elliott. It took Black Twitter no time to conjure up the hashtag #LifetimeCastings, which poked fun at the idea of actors being cast as notable figures they look nothing like. As ridiculous of an idea as it may seem for Justin Bieber to play R. Kelly or Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen to play Mary Mary, the trending topic proved that Elliott fans felt somewhat slighted, and moviegoers in general found the casting choice to be a highly questionable one. What’s the excuse for not being able to find an equally talented actress of a darker complexion to take on the role?
This same question was asked in 2012 with the casting of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone in the biopic Nina. Lisa Simone Kelly, daughter of the late singer/songwriter/pianist expressed her disapproval with Saldana’s casting in an article published for the New York Times:
“My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark…Appearance-wise this is not the best choice.”
After a slew of criticism came her way and was aimed at the production as a whole, Saldana opened up about her commitment to the role.
“Just like everybody else I feel very strongly about Nina Simone, and that (this) was a story that needed to be told.
I do believe that if everybody had more information about how this all came to be, it might help. But then again, I’m not here to get the acceptance of people. I’m here to be an artist first.”
A similar criticism about colorism and the importance of skin complexion in casting occurred when Christian Bale was chosen to play Moses, and Joel Edgerton to play Rhamses in the upcoming film, Exodus: Gods and Kings. It popped up again when Jacqueline Fleming was chosen to play Harriet Tubman, and side-eyes were given when Aurora Perrineau was pegged to play Shana in new Jem and the Holograms film. But sometimes in casting, especially for men, complexion differences between an actor and the public figure they are portraying don’t hurt a film. Think of the casting of Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in A Long Walk to Freedom. While his casting raised eyebrows because of his lack of physical similarities with Mandela, his portrayal of the man was applauded, and earned him a Golden Globe nomination. But for the most part, such casting choices aren’t applauded, but rather, balked at. It’s clear that many casting decisions are made in the best interest of helping a film make money, but in the process of doing that, the image of iconic figures are being carelessly altered for a studio’s convenience.
But what are your thoughts? Do you think that it’s important to give roles to people who actually look like the person they’re hoping to portray when it comes to skin complexion?
For someone who claims to be private, Zoe Saldana is definitely one to open up in interviews. For the September cover story of Cosmopolitan for Latinas, the Dominican-Puerto Rican-American talks about her marriage to artist Marco Perego and children.
For the cover she poses in a knit Julien MacDonald dress and was shot by Alexei Hay– clearly before her baby bump started showing.
In two major, high-grossing films (“Avatar”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”) the 36-year-old is definitely winning on the career front. But she’s also made a lot of personal growth, revealing what she’s learned about love and life.
On whether her children with husband Marco Perego will learn to speak Spanish: “Of course [our children] will speak the languages that we speak; my sisters and I grew up learning French and speaking English and Spanish, and because of that, we’re able to understand Italian and Portuguese. But I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to speak Spanish to my children, because I speak Spanglish.”
On loving her age: “At 35, you make better choices in men or partners, divorce people and situations that are not right for you, and learn to say ‘no’ with a smile.”
On what makes a man sexy: “A man who has a natural respect for women – I don’t want a man who worships me: Stay away from those. Worshipping doesn’t count as really seeing me. I like men who work with women, are challenged by women, learn from women.”
On the most essential quality for a good sex life: “To be uninhibited. I’m not talking about bringing in a third person or watching porn all night: That’s what leads people to believe they are amazing in bed when they’re the worst ever. Pornography is not sex education –it’s the opposite! Don’t allow insecurities to close you off. Be creative.”
Read more of Zoe’s interview at StyleBlazer.com
Update 1:45 p.m.: Zoe Saldana is clearly not pleased with all of the pregnancy rumors floating around. Yesterday, the feisty actress blasted media outlets on Twitter for “invading” her privacy.
“I believe that any violation of privacy is nothing good.”~Lech Walesa. I would like to thank all the fucking media for invading our privacy
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) July 24, 2014
Zoe Saldana’s reps are maintaining their silence regarding the widespread pregnancy rumors although several anonymous sources have attempted to confirm the news to outlets. Now, here’s another rumor: the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” actress is supposedly carrying twins!
“She’s thrilled!” a source exclaimed to E! Online.
According to Us Weekly, the 36-year-old is entering into the second trimester of her pregnancy.
“Zoe is about three months pregnant,” an insider said. “But she will only announce the news when she’s ready.”
And speaking of ready, Zoe clearly isn’t yet. Earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter released an article stating that Zoe’s publicist had confirmed her pregnancy. The report, however, was removed shortly after it was published and was followed up by a statement from Zoe’s rep. According to the rep, he had not confirmed the news to any outlets.
It seems that it is only a matter of time before the news is confirmed one way or another. The answer seems quite obvious at this point, but Zoe likes her privacy, so we get it.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise
We told you back in June that Zoe Saldana put folks on bump watch after she was spotted out and about with what looked like a growing stomach. Since then, she has gone out of her way to keep her belly covered with purses, shopping carts, big shirts and her new staple: overalls. But it looks like she’s over all that and will probably make an announcement soon after posting an image of herself with a tight skirt on, stomach poking out adorably.
On her Instagram (it isn’t verified, but she linked to the image from her verified Twitter account), she posted the image above with the rest of the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, and the baby bump some of our readers claimed was nothing more than a food baby was back. She didn’t make any mention of that though, as she simply captioned the picture, “And that is a wrap on US Press Day #1 on #guardiansofthegalaxy . See you all tomorrow gang!” She also posted another picture of herself laying awkwardly in a golf cart because her skirt was too tight (I mean… can my skirt be a bit less tight so I can sit safely and properly in the golf cart! Haha #guardiansofthegalaxy press day 1″):
Followers of the A-lister wasted no time getting geeked up about what our eyes all see, commenting on the pictures with the following:
“She is Pregnant! Beautiful”
“Is that a baby bump I see?”
“I see a baby bump!!!”
“congrats fellow gemini!!”
And other photos have surfaced recently with Saldana appearing more preggers than before, including the one below. Whether she chooses to share any pregnancy news with people or not, she’s glowing! Looking good, Zoe!
During her life, Nina Simone was no stranger to controversy. And now it seems, even years after her death in 2003, there is still some resentment and hurt behind her legacy. But this time, the person with grievances is Simone’s only child, daughter Lisa Celeste Stroud.
Stroud, the product of Simone’s abusive marriage to her former manager Andrew Stroud, became a singer and actress and took the moniker Simone with her on stage. But recently, in an interview with the Daily Mail, she made it crystal clear that there are lingering scars from the strained and often abusive relationship she shared with her mother.
Lisa Stroud told the Daily Mail that her mother suffered from depression and alcoholism which resulted in a tortured relationship between the two. It wasn’t until the late eighties that she was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In her first time speaking about the relationship with her mom she said,
“My mother could be a monster. I was not a happy child when I was alone with her. My mum shot me down a lot, attacked me in public. It is easy to attack children, they are small and depend on you.”
When Simone died at 70, several family issues surfaced as they battled in the courts trying to settle her multi-million dollar estate.
Stroud said: “Ugly truths have come to and relationships have died because people treated me as a commodity. Too many people had ulterior motives.”
And after her less than normal childhood, it wasn’t an experience she was willing to repeat. As a young girl, Lisa recalls being dragged around the world touring with her mother and when she complained or refused to go, she was blackmailed or beaten. Her life had very little stability. By the age of seven, she had 13 governesses, was working by the age of 10, her mother’s chauffeur at 12. And at 14, she left her home after a beating.
When she got older, Simone did not support Lisa’s desire to join the U.S. Air Force or enter the music business and she disinherited her from her will.
Stroud said, “I’d like to think if she had taken two seconds to think about her behavior she would have done things differently but I’m not sure.”
In an attempt to explain her mother’s behavior Lisa says, “My mother was angry with the world and often the only person around to blame was me.”
She also spoke about the nature of her parent’s relationship. “When my parents were together my mother was more giving and open but with the divorce she turned into someone you didn’t want to know.”
Sadly, Lisa’s relationship with her father wasn’t great either.
“I had nothing to do with my father before his death.”
Stroud’s father Andrew, who married Simone in 1961, died just two years ago in 2012. It’s a well know fact that Stroud, a former firefighter, managed Nina with beatings to keep her in line.
When Simone left him, by simply leaving her wedding ring behind and moving to Barbados, she took Lisa with her. In the island, she had an affair with the married Prime minister Errol Barrow. When their relationship ended and he basically got rid of Simone, Lisa had to deal with the aftermath.
“I got my first job in Barbados. I was 10 or 11, old enough to file papers. I had no option.”
While in the Caribbean, Simone lost control of her business affairs and was fighting the IRS. In response, she moved to Liberia at the invitation of Miriam Makeba.
It was there that Stroud was a her happiest.
“I went to school there and I lived with a surrogate family. But then my mother decided to join me and it went downhill. At 12 I ended up driving around on my own in a Pontiac Catalina running errands. I had to grow up fast.’”
‘You Need To Know There’s An Individual Who Has No Respect For You:’ Zoe Saldana Slams ‘Disrespectful’ Ex-Boyfriend
She’s sweet and funny, but you definitely don’t want to get on her bad side. In the August issue of Marie Claire, rumored mom-to-be, Zoe Saldana, opened up about negative experiences in past relationships and why she refuses to be friends with certain exes.
“I have been in relationships where a man has disrespected me, and I don’t need to be friends with that man anymore,” Zoe expressed.
She went on to add that she’s not going to be friends with someone who “crossed” her all for the sake of being able to say that she’s still friends with a former flame.
“I don’t want to be the one going, ‘I’m cool, because I’m friends with all my exes.’ There’s a reason why you’re called an ex. I crossed you off my list. Moving on. You cross a line, you need to know that you’re going to walk this earth knowing that there’s an individual who has no respect for you.”
While she came off a tad feisty in this particular interview, Zoe also addressed some of the positive events of her love life—including marrying hubby, Marco Perego.
“I don’t do the ABCs,” she said. “I do what my heart says, what my heart feels. So from the moment I met my husband, we were together. We knew.”
From all of her experiences in the love department, both positive and negative, Zoe says she has learned that there is nothing beneficial about settling.
“If you’re not happy with a person, leave,” she added. “And wait until you find that one person who makes you feel good about yourself every single day and is not expecting you to change, but to grow.”
We’d say that’s some pretty sound advice.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise.
Just months after her split from Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana secretly married Marco Perego. During a recent interview with Fashion magazine, the “Star Trek” actress revealed that while she didn’t necessarily intend to get hitched right after her breakup from Bradley, Marco came along at the perfect time.
“I was finally able to spend time without being in a relationship,” the rumored mom-to-be said. “And even though, it was a short period of time, it was beautiful. Where I lost that fear of being alone. It was bliss. Then I met my partner when I was in really a beautiful place in my life.”
Apparently, it was also a time of discovery and revelation.
“It was like I found all my answers with him not in him. I was finding my answers on my own.”
As for what makes Marco so different from her past loves, Zoe had this to say:
“When you are desired and you desire, so many things in your life start to make sense. We both feel we are artists in our core. One moment you’re up; the next moment you’re down. It all depends. You can sell a collection; you might not sell the next collection. It’s like an actor–you get cast or you don’t.”
Just a couple of weeks ago, pregnancy rumors about the newlywed began circulating. However, those rumors were not addressed in this interview. I suppose we’ll have to stay tuned to see whether or not the rumors are true.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise
In the span of a month, Zendaya Coleman nabbed the role of Aaliyah in the Lifetime biopic, Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, defended herself against a heavy dose of online criticism, and then bowed out of the project this past weekend. While there is only speculation that the family’s strong opposition to the project might have had something to do with her decision to hit the exit, one can’t help but wonder if it was also the discouragement of many Aaliyah fans and those in the general public that would make the 17-year-old want to bail on a film that could have been major for her career.
Someone else who has had to deal with backlash from the public when it comes to being cast in a biopic is Zoe Saldana. For the past year and a half, Saldana has been given the side-eye from Nina Simone fans, many of which, thought that her complexion was too light to play the chanteuse and pianist in the biopic, Nina, including Simone’s own daughter and singer India Arie. She tried to keep her head high despite the attacks, and said that the film was made out of love. But now that the film’s release has been put on hold due to a lawsuit from director Cynthia Mort, Saldana told Monarch Magazine that in reality, all of the comments about her, made in opposition to her casting as Simone, really did irk her, but that she tried not to let people’s criticisms keep her from doing a film she really wanted to:
Nina was a true genius and an iconic artist. It was a dream job for me.
I did a lot of research to prepare for Nina. I took piano lessons, voice lessons, worked with a dialect coach, and I really invested months of just doing research about Nina – her background, her story, her life. My research ranged from reading books about Nina, listening to her music, watching footage of her.
The Nina Simone story needed to be told, and I’m really blessed that I did it. I’m human. I wish I was made of steel and so certain things wouldn’t affect me. So it did affect me but I couldn’t let that deter me from doing what I needed to do. Just like everybody else I feel very strongly about Nina Simone, and that [this] was a story that needed to be told. I do believe that if everybody had more information about how this all came to be, it might help; but then again, I’m not here to get the acceptance of everyone – I’m here to be an artist first. Hopefully people will enjoy the film and I helped shed some light on this amazing iconic woman.
Whenever this movie finally gets released to see the light of day, personally, I’ll be interested in seeing what kind of work Saldana was able to do. But what about you?
First Kelly Rowland, now Zoe Saldana?
It appears that it may be time to place another celebrity on baby bump watch. Over the past couple of weeks, the “Avatar” actress has been photographed sporting some pretty loose-fitting clothing—including overalls that appear to be a bit snug around the midsection. This of course, is a huge deal considering that Zoe is known for her super flat tummy.
It’s also interesting to note that according to BET, Zoe recently pulled out of the Miles Davis biopic, “Miles Ahead.” She was originally set to play Miles’ wife, Frances Taylor. She has since been replaced by “Middle Of Nowhere” star Emayatzy Corinealdi. If she is, in fact, with child, it may be a while before the 36-year-old newlywed confirms her pregnancy. As you may recall, Zoe didn’t even publicly acknowledge her marriage to new hubby, Marco Perego, until months after they tied the knot. In the past, Zoe revealed that she definitely wants kids. As a matter of fact, she wants “two or three or four or five.” During her engagement to ex-beau, Keith Britton, Zoe wanted to have kids, but the timing just didn’t line up.
“For years he wasn’t ready. Then when he got ready, I didn’t have time,” she told The Conversation’s Amanda de Cadenet back in 2012.
“I don’t care,” she went on to say about having a house full of kids. “They’re just so delicious. I love the anxiety and the pressure of a loud room full of yapping kids. I’m like a kid myself so I get along very well with animals and children. I dig them. I get them. A child makes perfect sense to me. [To me], a child speaks more sense than an adult.”
Well, the Miss Zoe will only be able to hide a swelling belly but for so long. Until then, we’re officially placing her on baby bump watch!
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise
When it comes to casting roles some actors seem tailor made for the parts they’re given – think Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray, Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris in Training Day and Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It. But every once in a while casting directors make controversial choices that are sometimes a success and sometimes a complete fail. Here are 15 controversial casting choices that raised some eyebrows and really got people talking.
Zendaya Coleman as Aaliyah
Earlier this week, news broke that Disney star Zendaya Coleman had been cast to play Aaliyah in a new Lifetime biopic, and the controversy has already been real… and relentless. Though the 17-year old is a pretty talented singer and dancer, everyone seems to be wondering whether she looks enough like Aaliyah and if her acting chops are even good enough for the role.
And of course the fact that Aaliyah’s family is upset about the movie being created in the first place isn’t helping Zendaya’s cause at all.