Zoe Saldana responds to backlash over casting in Nina Simone biopic

The actress was previously accused of performing in 'blackface'

Zoe Saldana has responded to the backlash surrounding her performance in the recent Nina Simone biopic, after she was accused of performing in ‘blackface’.

The actress previously came in for criticism from Nina Simone’s family after her casting was announced, with Simone’s daughter claiming that Saldana was “not the best choice” when it came to her appearance.

But Saldana has now hit back at the claims, and defiantly said that there is “no one way to be black”.

She told Allure: “I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.”

Saldana also responded to critics who claimed that she was too white to play Simone, and also too attractive.

“I never saw her as unattractive,” Saldana said.

“Nina looks like half my family! But if you think the [prosthetic] nose I wore was unattractive then maybe you need to ask yourself, What do you consider beautiful? Do you consider a thinner nose beautiful, so the wider you get, the more insulted you become?”

The self-titled biopic was met with largely negative reviews when it was released in April, and currently holds a 3 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes – but Saldana still believes that it is a landmark moment for Hollywood.

She added: “The script probably would still be lying around, going from office to office, agency to agency, and nobody would have done it.

“Female stories aren’t relevant enough, especially a black female story. I made a choice. Do I continue passing on the script and hope that the ‘right’ black person will do it, or do I say, ‘You know what? Whatever consequences this may bring about, my casting is nothing in comparison to the fact that this story must be told.”

Zoe Saldana will be next seen reprising her role as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in Star Trek Beyond, which is released on July 22.