Zoe Saldana opens up about 'troubled' Nina Simone biopic: 'Nina deserves better'

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In a new interview with Latina magazine, Zoe Saldana is speaking about her role in the controversial biopic about Nina Simone.

Asked about how she prepared for the role, Saldana said, “I read as much as I could and spoke to as many people who knew her, who interviewed her. I listened to her voice, to her tone. She was angry, and rightfully so. She was a black woman born ahead of her time. Her soul, her spirit was never able to accept or adapt to the heartbreaks that life was giving her. Those are means for insanity. She was bipolar, and at that time, very little was known about bipolar disorder. A lot of people were self-medicating through substances, and she was doing it with alcohol. I wanted to understand all those things, and see what that was going to bring out of me. I never wanted to judge her.”

Saldana also addressed the criticism surrounding her being cast as Simone as well as the work she put into it and the frustration that followed when the biopic didn’t seem to be coming together as she’d hoped.

“I needed to walk her path. As a woman, it wasn’t difficult to empathize with another woman. But I needed to be very isolated. I moved out of my house for three months. I wasn’t really talking to anybody that I knew. I just needed to be all things Nina. It was so intense, and everything happened really fast. The people behind the project weren’t my cup of tea. The director was fine, but there was a lot of mismanagement, which is why we’re still here three years later. And I’m still trying to fight with everybody to get the movie finished. Nina deserves better.”

You can check out more of the interview, in which Saldana also speaks out on issues like immigration, here.