In a recent interview with BET.com, Viola Davis opened up about the controversial role that many believe should have belonged to her, instead of Saldana.
“I’m very aware of people talking about that, of course. But I’m also aware that Zoe Saldana is attached to the project and I really have a lot of respect for her as an actress,” Davis said.
“And I feel like I don’t want to interject myself into what she’s doing. I think that she chose the project, she’s attached to it and I think she’ll do a fabulous job.”
In August, Simone’s only child– who simply goes by “Simone”– told EBONY.com that she too would have enjoyed Davis portraying her mother. She stated:
“I love Zoe Saldana’s work. I’ve seen some of her movies more than once and really enjoy what she brings to the screen. As an actress I respect her process, but I also know that there are many actresses out there, known or not, who would be great as my mother. The one actress that I’ve had in my heart for a very long time, whose work I’m familiar with already, is Kimberly Elise. Many people have spoken to me about Viola. I love her look. I love her energy. Both of the actresses that I’ve mentioned are women of color, are women with beautiful, luscious lips and wide noses, and who know their craft.”
Production on the biopic begins this month.