Director Of Nina Simone Biopic Explains Casting
After Bob Johnson already defended the controversial Nina Simone biopic, the director of the film is chiming in.
As previously reported people are outraged that Zoe Saldana was cast as the songstress and outfitted with dark makeup when there are dark-skinned Hollyweird actresses that could’ve played her.
Now according to director Cynthia Mort Zoe’s “courageous performance” played a factor in her casting. Moreover it was about MONEY and the film wouldn’t be funded without a big star in the featured role.
The Huffington Post reports:
In an interview with BuzzFeed featured in a longer piece on the film’s history, Mort underscored her previous comments on Zoe’s “amazingly courageous” performance in the film, noting that Saldana’s talent as an actress played a part in landing the role.
“Certainly I would not have cast Zoe if I felt she was wrong for the role in a million years,” Mort told Buzzfeed. “Zoe’s amazing. She’s amazing in the movie. She gave her all. She’s honest, she’s courageous, she’s fierce.”
While the film’s producer, Barnaby Thompson, told Buzzfeed that casting a bankable star to raise funding for the film was not a factor in Saldana’s hiring, Mort went on to disagree.
“For me, Zoe was a creative decision,” she said. “However, long before I met Zoe, there were other people considered who were not acceptable to financiers. And for Barnaby to say anything other than that is incorrect.”
She also noted that another big name star was considered for the role; Mary J Blige.
Before “Nina” producers announced in 2012 that Saldana would play the title role, Mary J. Blige had been connected to the project. Despite her initial interest in having Blige helm the coveted role, Mort told Buzzfeed: “Mary is an incredible woman. She really is. She’s very moving, very talented. I spent a lot of time with her. But she was very, very busy.”
Well at least she’s honest about the real reason why Zoe got the role….
Hit the flip to see what she has to say about Zoe slapping on blackface…