In a new interview with Allure magazine, Zoe Saldana had a few things to get off her chest. Her black chest.
As Saldana preps for her new Star Trek movie to be released, she's still reeling from the backlash she received from the Nina Simone biopic in which she starred.
For the last five years, and right up until the Nina Simone movie's release, Saldana has defended not only her own blackness but also her right to play Simone. In the interview, Saldana let people know exactly where she's coming from when it comes to her background as a black Dominican woman.
"There's no one way to be black," she said. "I'm black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I'm raising black men. Don't you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain."
The two men she mentioned are her twin boys she had with her Italian husband.
Saldana also made it a point to mention how she was considered too pretty to play Simone.
"I never saw her as unattractive. Nina looks like half my family!" she says. "But if you think the [prosthetic] nose I wore was unattractive, then maybe you need to ask yourself, ‘What do you consider beautiful? Do you consider a thinner nose beautiful, so the wider you get, the more insulted you become?’"
And as someone who isn't afraid to voice her opinions, Saldana still has no regrets about doing the film.
"The script probably would still be lying around, going from office to office, agency to agency, and nobody would have done it. Female stories aren't relevant enough, especially a black female story," she says. "I made a choice. Do I continue passing on the script and hope that the 'right' black person will do it, or do I say, ‘You know what? Whatever consequences this may bring about, my casting is nothing in comparison to the fact that this story must be told.’
"The fact that we're talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We [f—king] won," Saldana stated. "For so many years, nobody knew who the [f—k] she was. She is essential to our American history. As a woman first, and only then as everything else."
Most people have said they hope another Simone biopic will happen, but Saldana reminded people that hers was the first.
"Let it be the first movie," Saldana says. "If you think you can do it better, then by all means. Let ours be version No. 1 of 10 stories in the next 10 years about the [f—king] iconic person that was Nina Simone."