There was a brief lull in backlash against the upcoming Nina Simone biopic and its star Zoe Saldana, but with April right around the corner and the release date quickly approaching, things are picking up again.
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But amongst all the criticism, Saldana has had a few supporters. Her costar Mike Epps is one of them. While promoting another project, Meet the Blacks, Epps told PEOPLE that all the backlash against Saldana is really just due to timing.
“I think with the Nina movie, once they put that documentary out with the real Nina Simone, it kind of made it hard for Zoë to come back and do the movie about Nina because people saw the real Nina in that Netflix documentary, so whatever it does people are going to criticize it one way or another anyway.”
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“With Zoë’s situation, they put a documentary out about Nina Simone that was really hot and familiar, so I think it made it hard for her to come back and do that movie.”
Epps, who plays Richard Pryor in the film, believes that Saldana did a good job and that younger generations who don’t know much about Nina Simone will see the film just for Saldana. He put it this way,
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“The thing about doing biopics is that the younger generation doesn’t really know who they’re coming to see like when Jamie Foxx did Ray Charles I’m pretty sure there was a big percentage of the fans who didn’t really know who Ray Charles was – really the younger audience – so they were really just coming to watch Jamie Foxx perform.”
Hmmm, OK. We’ll just save our opinions for the film.