Since word of Zoe Saldana’s casting of jazz legend Nina Simone hit the web, folks have had a lot to say. While some thought Saldana was a good fit and could pull off the role, other’s balked at the idea of her bringing the High Priestess of Soul to the big screen.

While we threw around names about who should head the project, Nina Simone’s daughter, Simone, asked Facebook fans what they thought about the choice and reserved her comments while they shared. Well, now, Simone’s weighed in, and according to her, the biopic isn’t quite what she wants.

Check out an excerpt from her Facebook page:

When the announcement initially hit the press with MJ Blige cast as Nina (about 6 yrs ago) I heard it along with everyone else. The story was written as a love story between my mother and her former nurse, Clifton Henderson and primarily takes place during the last 8 years of her life. 

Please note, this project is unauthorized. The Nina Simone Estate was never asked permission nor invited to participate. 

I have seen many names regarding who you think should play the role of Nina. Remember Angela Bassett as Tina Turner? SHE NAILED IT! Angela Bassett is an ACTRESS! And, we all know she lip synced along with Tina and did an amazing job. Personally, I prefer an actress to a singer. Just because a person is great at one does not mean they will be great at the other. If written, funded and CAST PROPERLY a movie about my mother will make an lasting imprint.

My vision of a movie about my mother includes SO many pivotal moments that are monumentally important towards relaying the journey of a woman whose journey began as a child prodigy born in North Carolina in the 1930′s…too many to list here but, trust when I say the tale will inspire through the sheer sharing of HOW Eunice Waymon became Nina Simone, The High Priestess Of Soul renowned worldwide.

Although the film seems to focus on a romantic relationship between Nina Simone and Clifton Henderson, Simone lets it be know that they had no such dealings.

Clifton Henderson was gay. He was not attracted to women. So, the truth is…Nina Simone and Clifton Henderson NEVER had a relationship other than a business one.

While Simone doesn’t seem too enthused about the film, which apparently is an indie project not funded by the Hollywood machine, she says she is hopeful her mother’s real story will come to light one day.

  • African Mami

    Do you guys see why it is sooooooooooooo important to tell our own stories/narratives-and triuth?! Because, the truth will be obliterated to suit their own agenda. I said the same thing on twitter yesterday. I will NOT buy or read a book by a Westerner-read white talking about Africa in their own terms, no way no how!

  • wishful thinking


  • Pingback: Nina Simone’s daughter allegedly responds to Zoe Saldana being cast as her mother | theGrio


    In other words…..Boycott this mess….its NOT the story of NINA SIMONE. Its the story of Zoe Saldana playing a woman with the same name who is in love with a gay man. DONT WATCH THIS MESS!!

  • smallaxx

    Nail on the head! Nothing against Zoe Saldana’s acting skills but Ms. Nina Simone’s experience was based not only on her talent but very much so on her looks. As talented and beautiful as we know she was, her dark skin and Afro features were not considered beautiful. I guess not much has changed eh? Sheesh. Black Media makers stand UP!

  • denise

    Totally agree with all comments. This will not be based on the life of Nina Simone, this movie is a fairy tale. Definitely will NOT be seeing this mess!

  • Terri Smith

    How can a film be produced without the autrorization of Nina Simones daughter? I agree that the role should be played by an actress but Zoe Salanda should’t have the privilege of doing so.Someone who reflects the outer beauty of Nina Simone should play the role.

  • Jan Marrero-Alston

    I agree with all the previous comments. I will not view any movie that re-writes the truth and totally negates what Nina stood for.She was not ashamed of her African identity, so why would anyone cast an actress who has no resemble to Nina….Zoe is good at what se does, but she is portraying a total and out right lie… that we’ve heard from Nina’s daughter I hope the film never gets made…to imply Nina was in love with a gay man who was simply in her employ is scandalous at best and libelious/defamatory at worse!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Olivia

    I love Mary J. but was not happy when she was scheduled play Nina Simone. Now I’m more unhappy with Saldana, moreover Saldana should not have accepted the role.I grew up listening to Ms. Simone and marveled at her “black and I’m proud attitude” before James Brown sang about it. Her looks and complexion cannot be overlooked when talking about her, she was a beautiful Blaaack woman. If a serious scholarly film is to be made, it needs to be true the time period, atitudes and the integrity of her music and politics. Either pick an relatively unknown talent or give it to someone who would do her proud, like India Arie or maybe Estelle, if they can act. Picking Saldana seems like a box office money move, for those who don’t know better.The fact that Simone’s daughter was not contacted lets you know this is wrong, just as wrong as Jennifer Hudson being cast as Winnie Mandela, without ever talking to the woman.. Really! Our actors of color need to stand for preserving our history and treating our legends, icons and political figures with dignity. If this film is made I will boycott, we should let the producers know ahead of time that we disapprove. Does anybody remember the history of Ava Gardner being cast as a Mulatto in Showboat? They used Lena Horne’s skin tone for the fomulation of the make-up on her, instead of casting Ms. Horne for the part. Enough already!


  • Bonita Powers Otey

    Whis I could “like” your comment 100 times! On point!!!!

  • ADG

    The role of Nina Simone should be played by India.Arie.

  • Renee

    She isn’t bashing Zoe Saldana, she doesn’t agree with the movie in general because the filmmakers are flawed. Please don’t turn this into a light skin hate party.

  • Joanne

    Kimberly Elise, India Arie, Angela Bassette or Viola Davis would all be great candidates to play Nina Simone. Kimberly would be my number one pick though. I agree with you Renee.

  • Pingback: New Photos of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone Emerge – We’re Still Not Pleased | Clutch Magazine

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