Writer, activist, filmmaker, pilot and bad-ass dream hampton recently sat down for an interview with Nina Simone‘s daughter, Simone, to talk about the Hollywood biopic revolving around her mother, known around the world as the High Priestess of Soul. The casting process for the actress that will portray Nina has become a controversial topic and Simone gave us the scoop on her thoughts.
EBONY: Can you clarify your feelings about the casting of Zoe Saldana to play your mother?
Simone: I love Zoe Saldana’s work. I’ve seen some of her movies more than once and really enjoy what she brings to the screen. As an actress I respect her process, but I also know that there are many actresses out there, known or not, who would be great as my mother. The one actress that I’ve had in my heart for a very long time, whose work I’m familiar with already, is Kimberly Elise. Many people have spoken to me about Viola. I love her look. I love her energy. Both of the actresses that I’ve mentioned are women of color, are women with beautiful, luscious lips and wide noses, and who know their craft. I also have no problem introducing someone we’ve never heard of before who can play my mother.
Seems like there’s a lot of pressure on Simone as for many fans she is considered the “gatekeeper to her mother’s legacy,” but the actress and vocalist believes that Nina’s story will be told well as long as it stays true to who her mother really was. We;re sure this won’t be the end of the debate, so stay tuned for any other news about the upcoming biopic (and read the full interview at EBONY).