The film biopic of African-American singer Nina Simone’s life has been in the pipeline for years. The first trailer below was released today:
The casting of Zoe Saldana (of Dominican Republic and Puerto Rican heritage) raised a lot of questions about how they would manage to make the actress look like Nina.
Their solution has been to darken Zoe considerably in an attempt to somehow make her recognisable as Simone. On top of that there’s an (unconvincing) Afro wig to cover Saldana’s otherwise straight hair. Overall, the make-up is off-putting when you watch the trailer.
With backlash coming from Simone’s own family on the casting, this film looks like it’ll raise a heated discussion about blackface – on black people. They’ve had to make her skin darker and put an afro wig on her: the real question is why didn’t they just cast someone who is actually dark-skinned with afro hair?