The estate of Nina Simone has spoken out after a trailer of the upcoming Simone biopic, ‘Nina,’ was released.
The trailer, released today, stars actress Zoe Saldana as Simone. The film’s production has remained controversial for several years since it was announced that Saldana was to play Simone, a jazz singer, pianist, activist and songwriter, also known as the High Priestess of Soul.
In a story on the Guardian‘s website, Saldana has been seen on the set wearing dark makeup and a prosthetic nose. The backlash has come down hard. Simone’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, has continuously disavowed the film due to its casting choice.
Today, the Twitter account representing Simone’s estate tweeted to Saldana:
The account also posted a link to a Simone interview, called “That Blackness,” where Simone talks about black culture and how she’s dedicated to helping black students who feel alienated in white colleges:
“To me we are the most beautiful creatures in the whole world,” Simone says in the clip.
Simone’s Twitter account also posted a link today to Simone’s performance of “Go To Hell,” recorded in 1968 at The Bitter End in New York City. Some of the lines in “Go To Hell”:
“If your mind lies in the devil’s workshop/evil doins your thrill/ and trouble and mischief is all you live for/ you know damn well /that you’ll go to hell
Now you living high and mighty / rich off the fat of this land
Please don’t dispose of your natural soul / cause you know damn well that you’ll go to hell”
In 2013, Zaldana responded to the backlash that was already building at the time, saying in part, “I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me. So that is my truth and that set me free.”
So far Saldana hasn’t directly responded. ‘Nina’ is due for release in April. Read more on the story at the Washington Post.
Watch the trailer for ‘Nina’ below: