Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Zoe As Nina Simone
Biopics can be funny. When they are about revered people, fans want to see someone who looks like the person and who has the skills to pull it off. Denzel Washington was not a dead ringer for Malcolm X but he had the skills to play the role. He was fantastic in it. There has been a lot of talk about the casting of Zoe Saldana as the iconic Nina Simone. Most have an issue with Zoe being cast because of her lighter skin and classic good looks. Nina Simone was a dark skin Black woman who's turmoil stemmed from her looks, her voice and her curves. Many have spoken about Zoe's lack of talent to play the role. I completely. understand why people feel the way they do. It is all warranted. I have major concerns about Zoe and this particular role.
This above pic was released this weekend. It instantly caused a major uproar. Everything about it is dead wrong. The obvious darkening of Zoe's skin to the bad afro wig to the ridiculous nose prosthetic are all causes for anyone to be concerned. The costume that Zoe is wearing makes me even sadder. Also, I like Zoe. I think she is a gorgeous girl and a decent actress. I do not believe that she has the depth to play someone as genius and deeply conflicted as Nina was. Zoe has never played a role with real, true substance. I loved her in "Columbiana." It was the first role where I remembered her name and who she was. Yes, I've seen her in other rom-com's but nothing that stuck out. In Hollywood, Black women, especially darker ones, are routinely passed over for roles. It's sad but true. This casting is just another case of a role being mis-casted on so many different levels. I do not know what the outcome will be. My expectations are clearly not that high. But, I will reserve final judgement until I see the movie.