Nina Simone’s estate tells star Zoe Saldana: ‘take Nina’s name out your mouth’

Saldana faces more backlash after release of official trailer

Zoe Saldana has faced backlash on social media today from Nina Simone‘s estate, following the release of an official trailer for official biopic Nina.

Simone’s family estate have expressed concern over the controversial new film. Originally, Simone’s estate and Twitter users expressed dismay at the casting of Saldana – who is of Dominican Puerto Rican descent – for wearing dark make up and prosthetics to resemble her subject. Mary J Blige was originally rumoured to play the role, but backed out due to ‘scheduling conflicts’.

According to The Guardian, Saldana – who appeared in Avatar,Star Trek and Guardians of The Galaxy – was told on Twitter, by the controllers of the official twitter feed: “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life” in response to an earlier post from Saldana quoting the legendary singer. You can view the tweet below.


Nina Simone’s estate then followed up the comment with the following post:

Read More: Zoe Saldana replaces Mary J Blige in Nina Simone biopic

Saldana has previously defended her role as Simone, telling Allure in 2013: “It doesn’t matter how much backlash I will get for it. I will honour and respect my black community because that’s who I am.”

The news follows the film’s official trailer, which was released yesterday (March 2)


According to Fact, the long awaited biographical film suffered a release date set back, but is now confirmed to open in cinemas in the US on April 22. You can watch the official teaser trailer below. Zoe Saldana stars as Nina in the gritty depiction of the singer’s life, which has been marred in setbacks and backlash – including criticism from Nina Simone’s daughter.

The film’s trailer shows Saldana’s Simone drinking, smoking and pointing a gun while also spouting some of the singer’s most famous quotes including “I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear.”

Read more: Netflix releases first trailer for its exclusive Nina Simone documentary – watch

The film had originally been slated for a December 2015 release. Scripted and directed by Cynthia Mort, the biopic is based on Simone’s 1992 autobiography I Put A Spell On You.

Saldana, 37, is best known for her roles as Anamaria in the second Pirates Of The Caribbean movie and Uhuru in the 2009 Star Trek film. She also portrays a Na’vi called Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar.

Nina Simone was the daughter of a North Carolina preacher, and recorded more than 40 albums before passing away in 2003 at the age of 70. She became heavily involved in the US civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s, but later relocated to France following tax issues.

‘The Very Best Of Nina Simone’, a compilation of her most famous recordings, such as ‘Feeling Good’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, made the UK Top Ten in 2006.

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