Jill Scott recently chimed in her support for Zoe Saldana to play Nina Simone in a biopic about the iconic artist… but there’s a catch. She feels Zoe should wear a fake nose to play the part!
In an interview with HelloBeautiful Scott tackled that topic, along with questions about her weight, natural hair and the challenges of Hollywood. Check out the excerpts below:
HelloBeautiful: How do you feel about the controversy surrounding Zoe Saldana being casted in the Nina Simone biopic?
Jill Scott: Well Zoe is an incredible actress–I think that she’s a fine actress. I think that there should be some work done, like a prosthetic nose would be helpful and definitely some darker makeup. If Forest Whittaker can become darker in “The Last King Of Scotland” than I believe Nina should be treated with that respect. She was very adamant about her color about her nose about her shape and her self and there needs to be some homage paid to that.
Okay we could see her playing the part with some serious makeup and a wig, but what adjustments would be made for Nina’s curvier frame? Would Zoe have to wear padding? Do you think Jill makes a strong enough argument here?
She also makes a case in the interview for a Phyllis Hyman biopic– which is something we’d love to see.
HelloBeautiful: If you had a chance to play an iconic figure, who would you play?
Jill Scott: I would play Phyllis Hyman. There’s a lot of depth there. Phyllis was tormented and beautiful, and violent at times. She was fighting her way through the industry and it wasn’t necessarily working out. You have this character who loves something so tremendously but hates it at the same time. I find her to be really interesting.
What y’all know about Phyllis Hyman? Do you think Jill Scott would do a good job playing her???
Hit the flip for more from Jilly from Philly about natural hair, her weight and being black in Hollyweird.
HelloBeautiful: You said you wanted to appear on the cover of Essence with your natural hair so that your son could see the “real” you. Do you feel that Black women don’t show the real “them” enough?
Jill Scott: I do. I would love to see a cast of African-American women with their natural hair. Some are going to be coiled, some are going to be curly, some will be tight, some will be wild-braided-twisted but this is the crux of it, this is who we are, and our hair even has a character in itself. I don’t mind wearing a weave or a wig–I don’t have a problem with it, but when I come home to myself–I’m natural. Hair is fun but I’d like to see who we are. I always think about it like this: if 30 black women were to be lost on a deserted island, those weaves would come out–they would all come out. We’d have to start taking care of our hair, and when the ship shows up two months later, there’s going to be a bunch of African-American woman or African women getting on that boat in all their glory.
Jill Scott definitely seems comfortable in her own skin and hair — do you think that most Black women are in that same space? Like this all sounds good and well, but we can’t help but to think about the Gabby Douglas hair debacle at the Olympics this summer.
HelloBeautiful: What are some of the downsides of being plus side in Hollywood?
Jill Scott: I’m not sure yet, because most of the roles I’ve acquired thus far–I’ve been either required to gain weight or wear a fat suit. One of my favorite movies is “The Shadow Boxer” starring Monique, who played a crackhead girlfriend. I love that because when you think of crackhead you think of someone who is emaciated, and her boyfriend was Caucasian and young–a doctor and high–more layers.
The challenge that I see outside of Hollywood is just finding clothes. I typically have to buy something two sizes bigger than I am, then I must have it fitted for me. I’m a 12/14 depending on the weight. Also [I need a] director that can know not every angle is for me, they have to be mindful. You know how some actresses have a good side–it kinda works for me like that too.
Does it surprise you to learn that Jill Scott isn’t losing out on any parts by not being a size 4?
Hit the flip for Jill on Black Hollywood and remaking “Steel Magnolias.”
HelloBeautiful: Were you nervous to be involved in the remake of such a classic [Steel Magnolias]?
Jill Scott: Yes. They’re big shoes to fill. The story is so good. Friendship is a quality–hell or high water–friendship is not really what we’re seeing on television anymore. For me, it was just an honor to remind people of a friendship that doesn’t have fighting and scratching each other’s eyes out–particularly with African-American Woman, though it goes down on the other shows as well. There’s beefs, wars, threats and jealousy, but this is a good reminder of what friendship actually is. It is a support system; it is a place to go with your whole self and be honest; and be hurt; and not have to do it by yourself–and to heal.
HelloBeautiful: What are some things you would like to see change in Black Hollywood?
Jill Scott: I’m hoping to see more diverse story lines and I’m hoping to see more intelligent films–more variety of stories. People we love pass away; people we love get married and divorced; they have children; we get jobs, we get lost, confused, heartbroken, broke, rich, gardeners–there’s millions of stories to be told about us. I’d just really like to see more stories. And Black actors, it seems like there always one for a period of time then there’s another one…there’s so many Caucasian actresses that get great work. I’m a fan of many of them, like, for instance, Tilda Swinton. She’s an amazing actress to me but I’ve seen her in films where she’s spoken Italian and German; I’ve seen her in a films where she plays a mother of very demoted boy. I’d like to see Black woman in different shapes, sizes and colors, hair grains, and noses, being human beings in front of the camera.
We love the point Jill made about black women’s friendships needing to be shown more. Loved this interview.
You can read the full interview HERE