At the end of 2012, Black people were all up in arms about Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in her biopic. (Read this, and this, and this.) I think I even broached this topic with a few people on Facebook. While researching a few things this week, I became aware of a few other things that have occurred in Hollywood, and I was wondering why people didn’t question them-at least to the extent that was done with Zoe.
I was trying to decide if I wanted to purchase the movie, “W”, Oliver Stone’s flick about (his perception of) President George W. Bush. I was also interested in the movie because a childhood friend that was murdered the same year the movie was released has a small role in it. When I looked at the cast, I was stunned and surprised to see that Thandie Newton was playing Condoleezza Rice. I was even MORE stunned when I saw stills from the film that showed Thandie “dressed” as Condi, complete with wig AND make-up to make her appear more like the US National Security Adviser. (For the record, she played Rice before she was appointed to Secretary of State). In my opinion, I think this is the same situation regarding Zoe and Nina…yet I don’t recall anyone making a big deal about this. Why is that? While Thandie is an amazing actress, I don’t see her playing Condoleezza. There’s nothing about these two ladies that remind me of the other. And let’s not talk about Jeffrey Wright playing Secretary of State Colin Powell. Maybe a big stink wasn’t made because the film wasn’t about Rice; it was about the President. Either way, I think this was a GROSS mis-casting, if that’s even a word.
There was also something else I came across that caught my eye and made me wonder why it wasn’t heard about on a larger scale, but of course I can’t remember what it was. In any case, what do think about Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone? If you’re a fan of the singer, do you still plan on seeing the film? And what about Thandie playing Condoleezza? If you saw the film, did she do a good job? Or did you just focus on these two women being vastly different? Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!
- Zoe Saldana is appropriate choice to portray Nina Simone (kansascity.com)
- On Color, Culture, and ‘Complexity’ (back2theroot.com)
- Hollywood Makes Zoe Big Deal as Nina (hispanicbusiness.com)