There was a lot of initial backlash when Zoe Saldana was first announced as Nina Simone, some generating from the belief that the two actresses don’t look alike, and others saying that Zoe did not have the acting skills to portray a legend like Nina.
However, Zoe is not letting the backlash affect her or her performance, telling Hip Hollywood at a Pre-Oscar party that she simply isn't thinking about the backlash right now. She explains, “The reality is what keeps me focused and I guess what kept me from being stressed or getting hurt by the comments is that I’m doing it for my sisters, I’m doing it for my brothers, and I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that, I know who I am. And I know what Nina Simone means to me, so that is my truth and that set me free.”
She also adds that she will try to maintain as much ‘humility as possible’ so that when the film comes out and if it’s negatively received, she can keep her ‘chin up’.
The film has already been shot and is currently in post-production, set to come out later in 2013. In addition to Zoe Saldana, the film also stars Alexa Davalos, Ella Thomas, and David Oyelowo.