MONARCH Magazine is paying tribute to the “influence and power of American music” in its summer issue.
GWL Magazine has just received an exclusive FIRST LOOK of 36-year-old mom-to-be Zoe Saldana on the cover of Monarch’s July Music Issue, where she talks about playing the late Nina Simone, controversy surrounding her heritage and ethnicity, and her career.
Here’s a few highlights from the interview:
On what inspired her to play Nina Simone:
Nina was a true genius and an iconic artist. It was a dream job for me. It’s one of the scariest projects I’ve ever been involved with because it was about an iconic figure, and there were so many political [issues] around it from the beginning; but I really wanted it to be a love song to Nina Simone and I wanted it to just come from a place of absolute love. I loved the complexity of Nina and her beauty that she expressed with her music. I wanted to do right by her and knew it would be challenging. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing opportunity to play a true legend.
On how did she prepare herself for the role:
I did a lot of research to prepare for Nina. I took piano lessons, voice lessons, worked with a dialect coach, and I really invested months of just doing research about Nina – her background, her story, her life. My research ranged from reading books about Nina, listening to her music, watching footage of her.
On how controversy about her playing Nina affect her career?
The Nina Simone story needed to be told, and I’m really blessed that I did it. I’m human. I wish I was made of steel and so certain things wouldn’t affect me. So it did affect me but I couldn’t let that deter me from doing what I needed to do. Just like everybody else I feel very strongly about Nina Simone, and that [this] was a story that needed to be told. I do believe that if everybody had more information about how this all came to be, it might help; but then again, I’m not here to get the acceptance of everyone – I’m here to be an artist first. Hopefully people will enjoy the film and I helped shed some light on this amazing iconic woman.
Do you feel like your heritage and ethnicity is always questioned?
I find it uncomfortable to have to speak about my identity all of the time, when in reality it’s not something that drives me or wakes me up out of bed every day. I didn’t grow up in a household where I was categorized by my mother. I was just Zoe and I could have and be anything that I ever wanted to do … and every human being is the same as you. So to all of a sudden leave your household and have people always ask you, “What are you? What are you?” is the most uncomfortable question sometimes and it’s literally the most repetitive question. Because I can’t wait to be in a world where people are sized by their soul and how much they can contribute as individuals and not what they look like … I feel like as a race, that’s a minute problem against the problems we face just as women versus men, in a world that’s more geared and designed to cater towards the male species.
Saldana also chatted about upcoming projects for 2014:
Book of Life – The film is an animated film about the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds, where he must face his greatest challenge. It is a Romeo and Juliet-inspired love story set during a Day of the Dead celebration. Diego Luna, Channing Tatum and Christina Applegate also voiced characters.
Infinitely Polar Bear – Directed by Maya Forbes, the film is inspired by Maya’s memories of being raised by a bipolar dad played by Mark Ruffalo in a mixed-race household. I play Maggie, the mother of their two children who is aggressively trying to cross the barriers of race and gender inequalities of the 60s even if that meant leaving her family while she sought a better education and career. The film paints a portrait of a family forced by necessity to upend every expectation imaginable at the time.
I also have the Guillaume Canet-directed drama Blood Ties with Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup and Clive Owen. Then Disney/Marvel’s The Guardians of The Galaxy out in August.
Be sure to read more HERE
Plus, the actress was recently spotted sporting an alleged baby bump in a bulky black overalls, running errands in LA amidst pregnancy speculation.
Zoe wore a black overalls over a black and ivory print blouse, and carried a large blue leather tote with tan handles for the occasion over the weekend.
Zoe is known for keeping her personal life private, so it’s no surprise she wishes to keep her baby news a secret.
As she revealed on The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet two years ago, Zoe said she had always wanted to have a family with her then-partner Keith Britton, but that the timing was off.
‘For years he wasn’t ready. Then when he got ready, I didn’t have time,’ she said, adding that ‘two or three or four or five’ little ones sounded good to her.
Image credits: Monarch Magazine/DailyMail