Zoe Saldana: ‘I’m sorry if I failed in Nina Simone biopic’

RLJ Entertainment

Actress Zoe Saldana has issued an apology to any Nina Simone fans she “failed” with her controversial 2016 biopic.

The Avatar star faced heavy criticism for using make-up to darken her skin and opting to wear a prosthetic nose to transform her features to play the legendary singer onscreen, and Nina fell flat with film fans upon its April, 2016 release, scoring a three per cent approval rating on review website Rotten Tomatoes.

Zoe has previously defended her work in the movie, which also starred David Oyelowo and Mike Epps, and she has now reflected on the drama one year on, insisting she would take on the project now, despite the backlash she faced.

Zoe Saldana, Nina, Nina Simone
RLJ Entertainment

However, the actress, who is of Hispanic and Haitian descent, admits she would have spoken out more to ensure director Cynthia Mort and her fellow filmmakers made a more cohesive biopic to really do Simone’s legacy justice.

“I would have encouraged the team that had the authority…,” she told BET.com. “I think I would have challenged the team, the producers and the director a whole lot more, even if it means that certain choices would’ve been different, but I can’t regret something that I did with an open heart and came from just nothing but love.”

Instead, Zoe wants her Nina film to inspire others to try and tackle the singer’s story themselves and continue to highlight the life of Simone.

“By all means, if everybody thinks that they can do better, just do it,” she said. “Let this Nina movie just be the first. Don’t let it be the only one, and if I failed, I sincerely apologise, but I don’t regret it.”

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