Coffee Talk: Zoe Saldana Says She 'Wasn't Right' for the Part of Nina Simone in Upcoming Biopic

Plus: Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run are getting a talk show on OWN, the number of police-related deaths in 2015 has reached 500, a female rapper is coming to 'Empire,' and more!

ESSENCE.COM Jun, 12, 2015

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Remember the backlash that Zoe Saldana received after she signed on to play Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic (critics said that her complexion was too light to play the dark-skinned Simone)? Well, the actress is speaking out now and admitting that maybe she wasn't right for the part. "I didn't think I was right for the part, and I know a lot of people will agree, but then again, I don't think Elizabeth Taylor was right for Cleopatra either," she said in the July issue of InStyle. "An artist is colorless, genderless… It’s more complex than just ‘Oh, you chose the Halle Berry look-alike to play a dark, strikingly beautiful, iconic black woman.’ The truth is, they chose an artist who was willing to sacrifice herself. We needed to tell her story because she deserves it." [Huffington Post]

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Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run are coming to daytime TV! Following the success of their bestseller, Man-ology, the long-time friends have signed on for an eight-episode love and relationship talk show, to debut early next year on OWN. The unnamed series will sit down with celebrity guests to chat about all things relationships—no-holds-barred. Will you be tuning in? [Variety]

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Will it ever end? The number of reported police-related deaths that have occurred in 2015 have reached a staggering 500, which works out to nearly three per day. Twenty-eight percent of the victims have been Black. What's more appalling? Police departments aren't required to submit the deaths that occur in their custody. The FBI's program, which tracks the deaths, is completely voluntary, which means that there might be more unreported deaths. [The Guardian]

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Oh no! It doesn't sound like Rick Ross is having a great week. The rapper was arrested earlier this week on marijuana charges after a Georgia police officer pulled him over for a tinted-window violation and found five joints in his car. He was taken into custody, and remains in a county jail. [People]

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Might there be a hot new MC on her way to Empire next fall? All signs seem to point to yes thanks to a leaked plotline. Empire recently put out a casting call for the character of Better Barz, a female teenage rapper who has won "more rhyme battles and girls' hearts than the best male vets on her block." We can't wait to hear Betty's rhymes come September. [Complex]


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