The world may have made a unanimous decision that Zoe Saldana's Nina Simone biopic was a mistake, but Saldana is standing by it and defending her blackness while she's at it.
"There's no one way to be black," she said in a recent interview with Allure magazine. "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 [Nina] script probably would still be lying around, going from office to office, agency to agency, and nobody would have done it," Saldana told the magazine. "Female stories aren't relevant enough, especially a black female story. 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*cking won," Saldana continued. "For so many years, nobody knew who the [fk] she was. She is essential to our American history. As a woman first, and only then as everything else."
To everyone on social media who campaigned for other black actresses - like Viola Davis and Uzo Aduba - to take on the role, Zoe is right along with you in hoping they get their shot.
"Let it be the first movie," Saldana said. "If you think you can do it better, then by all means. Let ours be version number one of 10 stories in the next 10 years about the f*ckng iconic person that was Nina Simone."
She also fired back at the critics who slammed her for being "too pretty" to play Nina Simone. (Because that was apparently a thing that was being said?)
"I never saw her as unattractive. Nina looks like half my family," she said. "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?'"
I think at this point, many are just insulted that she refuses to see the merit in the criticism levied against her and the universally panned script, but okay girl.