I’ll admit here and to anyone that I was a late bloomer when it came to listening to Nina Simone. My parents were too busy introducing me to Fela, King Sunny Ade, Bucks Fizz (?), Michael Jackson and ABBA (yes ABBA). But when I did discover her music, starting with ‘Four Women’ I dug deep and made sure I learnt more, I even did a bootleg studio cover of ‘Wild is The Wind’, I may upload it here one day. I love the way she told her stories, the way she sang and played, she was a talented Jazz Queen, and is now an integral part of musics history.
So, now a movie about her life is in the making, Zoe Saldana, a Black/Puerto Rican Hollywood star, is going to play the role. Personally I think she is an OK actress, not mind blowing, but she is undeniably attractive. Obviously Hollywood (or should I say Hollow-Wood ) have chosen her in the hopes that she will reel in the punters. (Can I just add her for the sake of it that I think the Oscars are a pile of cr*p these days)
In order for Zoe to play this role that have decided to paint her at least 3 shades darker which has caused a lot of uproar amongst Nina Simone fans, so much so that the official Nina Simone website has released a statement to express their disgust HERE.
Personally I have no issue with Zoe playing the role as long as she does a good job. Many actors and actresses wear wigs, fake eyebrows and noses to look like the character they are portraying, but when they have to paint their skin to another colour it is a bit more extreme, race is such a sensitive subject, one that should not be tooled with. Zoe is black, I refuse to go into the dark skinned vs light skinned debate, I’m a lover of all. They should have either kept her in her normal skin or chose someone who looks more like Nina. This would have caused less uproar especially after knowing what Nina Simone stood for. ‘My Hair is woolly’ says Nina, loud and proud.
I wonder what they will do when Andre 3000 plays the role of the ‘ledge’ that is Jimi Hendrix? I hope they don’t make him bleach his skin or paint him lighter, it’ll make me cringe. By the looks of it they aren’t going to. Says a lot Hollowood! Hopefully both actors will be strong enough to act the role rather than changing their skin colours which should never be necessary.
British & Brown x