Queen Latifah, Paula Patton Defend Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone: "Try to Enjoy It and Stop Judging"
"Imagine being in her shoes and enduring that. It's not cool, and it's not right."
Not everyone is necessarily upset about Zoe Saldana's onscreen portrayal of Nina Simone.
Outrage over the long-shelved biopic Nina went viral this week when the trailer was released Wednesday, showing the actress in darkened skin and facial prosthetics to play the late jazz singer. The harshest response came from the official Twitter account of Simone’s estate, saying, "Cool story but please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life."
But Queen Latifah defended the actress at the Monday night premiere of The Perfect Match, which she produced.
"I think Zoe Saldana is a great actress, so I am looking forward to it," Latifah told the Associated Press. "She is of African descent — I don't see why she shouldn't play the role. I just want to see it. Get rid of the hype and let's go watch a movie."
Paula Patton, who stars in the Bille Woodruff rom-com opposite Terrence Jenkins, added, "I'm not into negativity like that. It's a horrible thing to put on somebody.... Imagine being in her shoes and enduring that. It's not cool, and it's not right."
Addressing Saldana's naysayers, Patton continued, "Clearly, someone thought she was perfect for it — she's an amazing actress, she's beautiful — and you haven't even given her a chance and you haven't seen it yet."
"I think we have to be in a place where we celebrate each other and are kind to one another, and say, 'There's alternate versions of a story,' " she concluded. "Give her a shot, try to enjoy it and stop judging."
Watch the video below.