"I would have thought more highly of [Saldana] if she would’ve turned down the role,” says Sam Wayman, Nina Simone's brother.
Nina Simone’s brother Sam Waymon is not here for the casting of Zoe Saldana in the much talked about biopic, Nina.
“If I was asked to play someone of the monumental stature of Nina Simone, I would’ve had to think a thousand times before saying yes,” Waymon told Page Six. “I’m outraged by the fact that Zoe Saldana was chosen.”
The family was outraged in 2012 when pictures of Saldana in black face and a prosthetic nose surfaced, however more fuel was added to the fire this week when the trailer was released.
“Nina Simone . . . didn’t have a fake nose or fake lips. Everything about her was real. Why would you go with something made up like that?” Waymon said. “Blackface was used by Hollywood early on to dehumanize and to not have to cast [blacks] . . . I would have thought more highly of [Saldana] if she would’ve turned down the role.”
Wayman, 71, adds that Saldana and the film’s director, Cynthia Mort never consulted with the family regarding the project. He says the movie falsely depicts a romantic relationship between Simone and her assistant Clifton Henderson, played by David Oyelowo.
“It never happened,” said Waymon. “Clifton was a gay man. In addition to a prosthetic nose and blackface, now they’re making a gay man straight. It’s a disgrace to the gay community. It’s disrespectful to Nina, who was about the truth.”
Waymon’s lawyer, Alicia Crowe, says that legal action by the family is possible. “That’s certainly a conversation that will be had with the family and estate, but we haven’t seen the film,” she said.
When it comes to who should have played Simone, Waymon had someone different in mind.
“She probably would’ve liked a Viola Davis-type of person . . . Someone with that disposition and personality — anyone other than the person playing her now.”
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