Zoe Saldana Is Just Happy She Got Nina Simone Trending: ‘We F*cking Won’

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Oof. Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

The controversy over the casting of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone in a recent biopic has not phased its star. In a cover story for Allure, the actress — who has previously defended her casting — says she's just happy the world finally knows who Nina Simone was:

The fact that we’re talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We fucking won. For so many years, nobody knew who the fuck she was. She is essential to our American history. As a woman first, and only then as everything else. ... The script probably would still be lying around, going from office to office, agency to agency, and nobody would have done it. Female stories aren't relevant enough, especially a black female story. I made a choice. Do I continue passing on the script and hope that the “right” black person will do it, or do I say, “You know what? Whatever consequences this may bring about, my casting is nothing in comparison to the fact that this story must be told.”

That Saldana wasn't the right person to play Nina Simone, as many (including Vulture) have argued, she strongly disagrees. "There's no one way to be black. 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." Touché.

And to those who took issue with her use of prosthetics to mimic Simone's facial features, she says the problem is you, not her or the filmmakers's choices: "I never saw her as unattractive. Nina looks like half my family! But if you think the [prosthetic] nose I wore was unattractive, then maybe you need to ask yourself, What do you consider beautiful? Do you consider a thinner nose beautiful, so the wider you get, the more insulted you become?" And now this controversy officially has a second life.