Zoe Saldaña finished filming the controversial Nina Simone biopic more than three years ago, but the film still has not hit theaters.
The 37-year-old actress admitted to Latina magazine recently that lack of organization and mismanagement are a couple of the reasons why nobody has seen it yet.
“The people behind the project weren’t my cup of tea,” Saldaña said. “The director [Cynthia Mort] was fine, but there was a lot of mismanagement, which is why we’re still here three years later. And I’m still trying to fight with everybody to get the movie finished. Nina deserves better.”
Prior to shooting, the casting of Saldaña, who is principally of Dominican and Puerto Rican ancestry, to play the African-American singer and civil rights activist caused quite an uproar. But the actress was adamant that she would portray her. She even took a mini-exile from her life in order to immerse herself in the project.
“I needed to walk her path. As a woman, it wasn’t difficult to empathize with another woman, but I needed to be very isolated,” Saldaña said. “I moved out of my house for three months. I wasn’t really talking to anybody that I knew. I just needed to be all things Nina. It was so intense, and everything happened really fast.”
She added: “I listened to her voice, to her tone. She was angry – and rightfully so. She was a black woman born ahead of her time. Her soul, her spirit was never able to accept or adapt to the heartbreaks that life was giving her.”
Since wrapping the film, Saldaña said, she is still haunted by the legendary singer.
“To this day, I can’t listen to her music. I’ll be able to listen to her and not feel so heartbroken once I either finish this movie and release it, knowing that we did the best we could, or this movie goes away,” the mother of two said.
“I pray that somebody tells her story, and they do it amazingly well," she added. "And then I’ll just put this to rest. But so far I’m still hanging in there with her. We’re still fighting together to tell it like it is. And that’s the best way to be.”