The actress opened up about the experience during a Bese interview with Steven Canals, co-creator of FX’s Pose, saying, “Nina had a life and a journey that should be honored to the specific detail.”
Saldana’s comment comes years after she was criticized for playing the legendary singer, ultimately wearing dark makeup, a prosthetic nose, and false teeth for the film.
“I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had 10 years ago — which was a different leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless — I should have tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman,” Saldana told Bese. “I thought back then that I had the permission because I was a Black woman. And I am. But it’s Nina Simone. And Nina had a life and she had a journey that should be honored to the specific detail … She deserved better.”
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry because I love her music,” she added. “We’ve been appropriating ourselves with someone like Nina Simone for a very long time. And I just want her story to be told, and I want it to be right because she deserves it.”
Listen to Sandala’s conversation with Canals below.
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Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) sits down with “Pose” (@poseonfx) creator and executive producer Steven Canals (@stevencanals) to chat about Afro-Latinidad, colorism in the Latinx community, Nina Simone, and more. #AfroLatinx #AfroLatinidad #BESE #ZoeSaldana #StevenCanals #Pose #PoseFX #AfroLatinos #Dominican #PuertoRican