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See Zoe Saldana As Nina Simone on Set

Zoe Saldana Nina Simone

Zoe Saldana Nina Simone: the actress channels the singer in new biopic

Zoe Saldana is Nina Simone. The 34-year-old actress plays the legendary soul singer in the upcoming biopic, Nina. On Friday, October 19, the actress was seen debuting her big screen makeover during some downtime on set in Los Angeles.

Zoe channeled the late singer with a little help from some facial prosthetics, fake teeth and an afro wig.

When writer/director Cynthia Mort decided to cast Zoe as Nina Simone this summer, there was a controversy surrounding her choice. A few bloggers have criticized the decision claiming that Zoe Saldana is too skinny for the part. They said that casting choice was another example of Hollywood’s tendency to whitewash African American history.

“When is it going to be O.K. to not be the delicate looking ideal of what the media considers blackness to be?” Tiffani Jones of Coffee Rhetoric wrote. She even made a petition to convince filmmakers to “replace Zoe Saldana with an actress who actually looks like Nina Simone”.

Nina Simone died in 2003 at the age of 70. She had suffered from breast cancer for several years before she died in her sleep at her home. Nina Simone also received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in the late 1980s.

Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums. Her music included several styles: classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. She was also highly involved in the civil rights movement.

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