Her voice is one of the most distinctive and most famous and her songs have become soundtrack to millions and used by many films and adverts from Chanel 5 which was directed by Sir Ridley Scott, starring former Bond Carole Bouquetand Dior Jadore with Charlize Theron. To Coca Cola and Renault and Muller. And her music has been covered from rock to pop bands. Today as she was when she was alive Nina is an cultural icon.She was and still is inspirational woman.After decade of her death, Nina is receiving an Hollywood treatment with biopic 'Nina' based on her 1992 biography I put spell on you.
The upcoming film will be directed by Cynthia Mort who wrote the screenplay for Brave One starring Jodie Foster..
All seems normal so far, well the casting has caused an hiccup in this much anticipated biopic.
Before the film has been filmed there is already a controversy surrounding the casting.Queen of R&B and Hip Hop Mary J Blige, was meant to portrait Nina.Mary has been tied to film since Nina's death in 2003.But she turned down the project because of schedule problems.
Cynthia and her casting director hired Zoe Saldana. And there is backlash which has resulted in good old petition.
The backlash comes from the fact that light skinned Zoe has to wear darker makeup to resemble Nina. Controversial issue, and because of this many argue that Cynthia should've hired an actress who resembled Nina instead of hiring one who has to be modified to resemble the Queen.There are some valid points in this argument.And I understand that.Viola Davis, India Arie do bear some resemblance to Queen. Now would they be better fit as actresses for this role than Zoe, because of this?
I can understand if the conversation was about this, rather than starting a petition and a campaign on particular actress, because she doesn't fit who people want to play Nina.
I understand that in entertainment industry, how one looks reigns supreme most of the time. The more you bear Eurocentric features the better, this way the cosmetic companies will hire you to front their campaigns campaigns and magazine covers are yours.This idea has created bridge between black people who see light skin black people as different species or race. Forgetting that even the whites come in different shades from blonde, blue eyed Swede from Malmo and the dark haired brown eye Spaniard from Madrid are both white despite their skin colour variations.Unfortunately, we are, still living with the ideology that was sown in days of colonies. Black women with strong African features is not beautiful. And because of it we have seen many women in the entertainment industry trying to justify their beauty to others that they have ten different races running their veins just to be consider beautiful.That is one problem we have work to overcome.And country such as USA where racial issues are like opening of a Pandora's box, because of its history, those issue are run deeper.
But isn't Zoe black?
I am puzzled by the backlash and I am trying to understand. Zoe is another non Caucasian actress fighting for roles in tough industry. She is at the moment, one of hottest and one of the visible black actress around with Kerry Washington. Perhaps the reason why Cynthia and her casting director hired Zoe was that. Zoe could bring the story of Nina to a whole new audience. I still don't get the the reason why many oppose Zoe's casting. Is it the fact that she isn't, African American... even though she was born in New York to black Afro Latino parents. If the issue is about casting African American actress, would Kerry Washington or Halle Berry been better?
despite the fact that they both of bear more Eurocentric features than Zoe.I personally don't believe Zoe should've backed from this project because she isn't ''dark enough''.Zoe is Dominican-Puerto Rican and both of her parents are black Afro Latinos. And as far as genetics go she isn't white or Asian or middle eastern but black woman who is from the former Spanish colonies. The likely hood of her having mixed ancestry is very likely because most African descended people of the America's most likely have both Native American and Caucasian bloodline either because of slavery or intermarriages.as someone who is of Cushtic origin looking it at from outside, Zoe looks like an Cushtic African. In other words blacks that people argue isn't pure black ( whatever the fuck that means)
Zoe is talented actress and she will take on the role like she has done with many others. From Uhura in Star Trek to Neytiri in Avatar.
Actors are meant to be chameleons and become what the role requires them to be. Even better if they are ''method'' actors. There has always been many actors who have transformed for roles and walked away with an Bafta and Oscar.
Forest Whitaker blacken up to play Idi Amin. In 2007 biopic Last King of Scotland.
and he won multiple awards and accolades around world for his portrayal of Idi. Forest also won the big awards actors all gun for.
Critic's Choice Awards,Golden Globe,Screen Actors Guild. Bafta and Academy Award.
Now wouldn't it been better if Kevin MacDonald and his casting director had given the role of Idi Amin to darker actor who didn't need to blacken up. Recently passed Michael Clarke Duncan perhaps would've been fine for the role of Ugandan dictator..
Kerry Washington blacken up to play Kay Amin in the same film.
The truth of the matter is, sometimes casting directors are not going cast someone just because either fans like particular actors or they loathe them.Film roles go to actors who bring characters to life. Sometimes some casting end up being fantastic as actor who gets the roles brings so much to the role.
Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles was epic. Fellow Academy and Bafta Award winner Jennifer Hudson is great casting as Winnie Mandela in 2013 biopic Winnie
And sometimes casting of project can be ruined because of wrong casting.Lindsay Lohan was casted as eternal beauty Violet eyes Elizabeth Taylor And we all, remember how everyone was saying Megan Fox or Kate Winslet was better suited to play the Hollywood legend, than Lindsay.
In 2013 two Hollywood actors will be portraying the Great Man that is Nelson Mandela on screen. In Nelson Mandela biopic based on Nelson Mandela autobiography Long Way To Freedom Idris Elba will be portraying Mandela with fellow Brit Naomie Harris as Winnie.
In another film Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard will be portraying Nelson and Winnie Mandela in Winnie.
There is argument, that both Naomie and Idris bear no resemblance to either Nelson or Winnie. If we, went with this view. Should the story that needs to be told, not be brought to the silver screen because actor tied to the project doesn't look like people they are portraying. This isn't new to Idris. He received backlash when he was casted to play Heimdall the Scandinavian God who is called the whitest God of Norse God's in Kenneth Branagh's Thor.
In upcoming God's of Egypt, Scandinavian (Denmark) Nicolas Coster-Waldau will be playing patron God of Egypt Horus should there be an petition that demands Hollywood cast someone of African origin to play Horus and not Dane.