Mike Epps stands by Zoe Saldana’s portrayal of Nina Simone in biopic Nina.  The 37-year-old actress was publicly scrutinized for playing the role of an African American woman. Critics questioned why didn’t creators of the films cast a woman that possessed similar features to the late jazz singer. Mike Epps responded to the criticism stating that Saldana, “did a good job.”

Recently Mike Epps portrayed the late comedian Richard Pryor in a biopic and shared that biopics are challenging because of the different age demographics. “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.”

Also Epps discussed the Nina Simone documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? that was released on Netflix last year. “I think with the Nina movie, once they put that documentary out with the real Nina Simone, it kind of made it hard for Zoe 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.”

The documentary was nominated for an Oscar last year. Due to the success of the documentary there are bound to be comparisons to the biopic.  The biopic will be released on April 22nd. Watch the trailer of the film below.




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