“I know better today and I’m never going to do that again. Never,” she said.
During an Instagram Live interview with Pose co-creator and executive producer Steven Canals, Saldana was asked about portraying Simone in the 2016 biopic Nina, and how she views taking up the role now.
Zoe Saldana talking about how she regrets playing Nina Simone on a recent live stream (1/2) pic.twitter.com/FMFzPUyRIG
— Fiona Applebum says block Shaun King! (@WrittenByHanna) August 4, 2020
“I should have never played Nina. I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had ten years ago, which was a different leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless,” she said. “I should have tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman.”
“I thought back then that I had the permission because I was a Black woman. And I am,” she continued. ‘But It was Nina Simone and Nina had a life and she had a journey that should have been and should be honored to the most specific detail because she was a specifically detailed individual.”
She then apologized for the role, saying: “I’m so sorry because I love her music. I know better today and I’m never going to do that again. Never.”
The interview can be viewed in its entirety below.
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Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) sits down with “Pose” (@poseonfx) creator and executive producer Steven Canals (@stevencanals) to chat about Afro-Latinidad, colorism in the Latinx community, Nina Simone, and more. #AfroLatinx #AfroLatinidad #BESE #ZoeSaldana #StevenCanals #Pose #PoseFX #AfroLatinos #Dominican #PuertoRican
Saldana had defended taking on the role in a past interview with Allure, where she addressed criticism she faced for her portrayal when the trailer and movie dropped.
“There’s no one way to be black,” Saldana said at the time. “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.”