Lynn Whitfield weighs in on Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone

VIDEO - During part 1 of her interview with theGrio, 'King's Faith' actress Lynn Whitfield opened up about her new film, and weighed in on Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in a biopic...

For more than 30 years, Lynn Whitfield has mesmerized TV and film audiences, and will grace the big screen once again in the upcoming drama King’s Faith.

The film, written and directed by Nicholas DiBella, centers around a family who takes in a troubled foster child and helps him leave his turbulent gang life behind him.

During part one of her interview with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon, Whitfield talked about her new film role, and weighed in on some of today’s hot topics.

On Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone in biopic

In 1991 Whitfield won an Emmy Award for her portrayal of the legendary singer/dancer Josephine Baker in HBO’s The Josephine Baker Story.

Later this year Zoe Saldana will star in Nina, a biopic about the jazz and blues singer Nina Simone who died in 2003 at 70 years old.

The casting of Saldana as Simone sparked a backlash and even led to an online petition at, calling for the film’s director to “replace Zoe Saldana with an actress who actually looks like Nina Simone.”

“Be it performance driven or features looking similar, the responsibility of the artist and the entire team is that when you’re seeing a biopic do you forget who that person is, and believe they are the spirit that they’re bringing through,” Whitfield said when asked whether or not it’s important for Saldana to physically resemble Simone.

The Eve’s Bayou actress continued, confessing that she is pulling for Saldana to nail her portrayal of Simone.

“In the sisterhood of thespians, all I will do is pull for her that she does,” Whitfield said. “She’s certainly shown tremendous intelligence in all of her performances up until now.”

Did Obama go too far with his remarks about Kamala Harris?

Last week President Obama received criticism after saying that California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris is “by far, the best looking Attorney General in the country,” a remark which he later issued an apology for.

Whitfield says she was not offended by the president’s comment, and feels that the backlash he received is “ridiculous.”

“I think that it is ridiculous” Whitfield exclaimed.  “I think that he’s held to a standard far beyond many of our presidents, because we’ve had many who’ve said that somebody is good looking. It’s ridiculous.”

“I’m not that bothered by it, I don’t think he’s that bothered about it, because at the end of the day they’re in the White House, they’re taking care of business and I think the legacy is going to be really good.”

Kings Faith opens April 26 in select cities. To request King’s Faith in your city click here.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC