Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Aretha: I don't know about Saldana

Aretha Franklin is not sure Zoe Saldana is right to play Nina Simone

Aretha Franklin has said she would have preferred to have seen someone more like Nina Simone than Zoe Saldana cast in her biopic.

The Star Trek Into Darkness star has faced a backlash after being cast in Nina, about the life of the soul singer, and Aretha admits she is also unsure.

She said: "I did know Nina and I would have liked to see someone with a little more of a likeness and who hopefully played the piano. But I don't know Ms Saldana's work and Hollywood can do a lot of things in terms of changing your features and all of that."

The Say A Little Prayer singer - dubbed the queen of soul - is about to meet filmmakers to discuss her own biopic.

Aretha, 71, revealed: "I just try to come up with the names I feel are going to best present this, who are the people that will best present my biopic and what I have in mind.

"Mr (Clive) Davis has gotten in the group and Suzanne de Passe, who co-wrote Lady Sings the Blues. Taylor Hackford, who did ... Ray ... and the William Morris agent and myself. Those are the principals that will be meeting this weekend."

Oscar-winners Jennifer Hudson and Tony winner Audra McDonald are said to be in the running to play Aretha.

But the singer said: "The question where Audra is concerned is whether or not Audra can get into soul. That would be the question because she has the voice, she has a beautiful instrument.

"Jennifer would come up with some good things."

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