Zoe Saldana wishes she’d been "braver and stronger" in confronting producers over her concerns about ‘Nina’.
The 38-year-old singer was hit by criticism of her portrayal of late singer Nina Simone – who died in 2003 aged 70 – after she seemingly had darker skin and a prosthetic nose in the 2016 biopic and though she doesn’t regret being a part of the film, she admits she has learned from the experience.
She told Gulf News of the backlash: "There was a lesson learned there.
"I think as an actor you have to choose the people you work with better, and make sure you know exactly what they’re doing. A lot of things raised a red flag, even before shooting, and I should have been braver and stronger and put my foot down.
"[Simone] has always been someone I loved, and she lives within me. I should honor that over what a person thinks [about the film]. And in the end, I can’t regret anything I’ve done."
Representatives for Nina’s estate previously slammed the star, asking her to never mention the civil rights activist’s name again.
Zoe tweeted a quote from the singer after the trailer was released, writing: "I’ll tell you what freedom is to me – No Fear.. I mean really, no fear #NinaSimone (sic)"
But the official Nina Simone Twitter account, which is now run by her estate, posted a reply to the comment saying: "cool story but please take Nina’s name out your mouth. For the rest of your life (sic)"
Shortly afterwards, another tweet on Nina’s account appeared to be referring to the trailer.
It read: "Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now… (sic)"
However, the actress was later defended by Nina’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, who insisted the controversy wasn’t Zoe’s fault.
She said: "It’s unfortunate that Zoe Saldana is being attacked so viciously when she is someone who is part of a larger picture. It’s clear she brought her best to this project, but unfortunately she’s being attacked when she’s not responsible for any of the writing or the lies."