Afro-Latina Zoe Saldana Apologizes For Playing Nina Simone in Biopic

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During an Instagram Live with hosted by B-ESE earlier this month, Zoe Saldana apologized for portraying Nina Simone in a 2016 biopic. The 42-year-old actress opened up about her role in Nina, a 2016 American biographical film written and directed by Cynthia Mort.

“I should have never played Nina,” Zoe said. Having earlier described herself as “three-quarters Dominican and a quarter Puerto Rican,” she admitted to wearing a prosthetic nose, fake teeth, and even makeup to darken her skin.

Zoe Saldana apologized for portraying Nina Simone in a 2016 biopicZoe Saldana apologized for portraying Nina Simone in a 2016 biopic

“I should have done everything in my power, with the leverage that I had 10 years ago — which was a different [amount of] leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless. I should’ve tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman.”

Zoe Saldana darkened her skin and wore a prosthetic nose for playing Nina Simone in a 2016 biopicZoe Saldana darkened her skin and wore a prosthetic nose for playing Nina Simone in a 2016 biopic

The Afro-Latina actress added that she “thought back then that I had the permission because I was a Black woman, and I am. But it was Nina Simone, and Nina had a life and she had a journey that should’ve been and should be honored to the most specific detail because she was a specifically detailed individual about her voice, her opinions, her views, her music, and her art. And she was so honest. She deserved better.”

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry because I love her music,” Zoe shared in her apology to Nina’s family and fans. “It wasn’t enough. With that said, she’s one of our giants and someone else should step-up. Somebody else should tell her story.”

Zoe Saldana wore a prosthetic nose and fake teeth for her role as Nina SimoneZoe Saldana wore a prosthetic nose and fake teeth for her role as Nina Simone

In 2016, Zoe was defended by Nina Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly.

“It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture,” Simone Kelly told Time. “It’s clear she brought her best to this project, but unfortunately she’s being attacked when she’s not responsible for any of the writing or the lies.”

In May 2013, the actress rocked an exquisite black-and-white gown by Vionnet while attending the premiere of her latest flick, Star Trek into Darkness 3D, in London.

Zoe Saldana styled her Vionnet Pre-Fall 2013 gown with Christian Louboutin ‘Rampoldi’ ankle strap heelsZoe Saldana styled her Vionnet Pre-Fall 2013 gown with Christian Louboutin ‘Rampoldi’ ankle strap heels

The frock itself is simply breathtaking. It has a drop-waist bodice and a whispy high-low hemline that floated so beautifully as Zoe walked.

Zoe Saldana attends the UK Premiere of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' at The Empire CinemaZoe Saldana attends the UK Premiere of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ at The Empire Cinema on May 2, 2013, in London, England

Sigh … another good one from Zoe Saldana. This girl is becoming quite a pro at dressing fabulously on the red carpet (and off it as well!).

Zoe’s dress is from Vionnet’s Pre-Fall 2013 collection and has sold out. On a side note, allow us to leave you with a couple of gorgeous Vionnet creations to perk up your day.

One is a black-and-white one-shoulder gown that’s very Grecian inspired, while the other is an intensely dramatic orange confection that features a high-low hemline.

Black/Perla Vionnet One-Shoulder Gown, $5,375

A striking Vionnet gown in black and white silk, draped to graphic effect with twisted straps and a sweeping contrast overlay

Papaya Vionnet Long Dress, $4,180

Vionnet puts a bold twist of glamour on its signature draped aesthetic, rendering a shimmering silk dress in a dramatic high-low silhouette

By the way, while we did try to look for a cheaper alternative to Zoe’s dress, we weren’t able to find one.

However, if the high-low hemline is something you enjoy wearing, try this option from Black Halo instead. It is just as red-carpet-worthy, but it will cost you less at $650 at Shopbop.

Black Halo Eve Prestige Gown, $650

A striking gown from Black Halo recalls vintage Hollywood glamour with a sweetheart neckline and elegant cap sleeves

Credit: WENN / Avalon

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