If you ever wondered why there has been controversy surrounding the Nina Simone biopic, Indie.Arie is here to break down her issues with the film for you. In a recent interview with the The Hollywood Reporter, she spoke on her connection to Simone, Zoe Saldana being chosen for the lead role and who she would cast to play the part.
While speaking on her connection to the artist, who she also happened to portray in a 2003 episode of American Dreams, Miss Arie explained how Nina Simone changed her life: "What made Nina Simone my hero is that I had never seen anyone in the public [eye] who looked anything like me at all, ever. When you think about the way that we as human beings can inspire each other by being able to be our authentic selves, to deny someone who looks like Nina Simone the opportunity to play her is sad. It would have been important and impactful had they made a movie about Nina Simone where the actress really looked like her. It would have changed someone’s life, I think. She changed my life just by looking the way she looked."
Another issue Indie.Arie touched on during her sit-down was the way Saldana ended up looking with the heavy make-up and prosthetic nose: "It made me sad. The way she looked in the movie was ugly. Whether or not Nina Simone was beautiful in your eyes, I thought she was beautiful. But in this movie, she just looked weird. Her skin looked weird, and her nose looked weird. It made me wonder, ‘Was that how the filmmakers see her? Did they not think she was beautiful? Were they like, ‘Yeah, we got it! That’s how she looked.’”
Now, if you're wondering who Indie.Arie would choose to play the lead role...she mentioned Adepero Oduye, who has been compared to Simone quite often.
You can read the full interview here to get all of Indie.Arie's thoughts on the film.