Monday, August 20, 2012

Nina Simone's Daughter Simone Speaks On Unauthorized Bio Pic

Rumors emmerged last week ( for a 3rd time in my memory) of a movie being developed that reflects the life of one of the most gifted musicians to ever live.The film is said to focus on a relationship Nina Simone had with a gay man- her nurse Clifton Harris. Interesting to me as a fan. Nina Simone was the voice of strength and honesty. Her accomplishments are outstanding. Her music accompanied by her amazingly distinct voice broke through barriers and understandings like none other of her time. She was extremely gifted and mysterious.

With the rumors circulating, her daughter Simone decided to address them. She candidly speaks below about her mothers REAL history, and how her mother's estate hasn't approved any type of biopic. Simone goes further to express that she'd love a movie about her mother and believes many would be touched by such an incredible life story, but would like it told the right way with the right cast.

It is rumored that actress Zoe Saldana is signed on to play the lead role -which if you know what Zoe looks like and what Nina Simone looks like, is a bit off putting. Simone obviously felt taken a back by that too as she takes her time to indirectly address that rumor below. As a fan of Nina Simone's for as long as I can remember, I am happy to see her daughter step up and demand anything done in her mother's honor be done right! See her full post from her Facebook page below.
Greetings Nina Simone Lovers, Simone here.I have read many of the comments am happy you all took the time to share your thoughts and feelings.Here's mine: 
When the announcement initially hit the press with MJ Blige cast as Nina (about 6 yrs ago) I heard it along with everyone else. The story was written as a love story between my mother and her former nurse, Clifton Henderson and primarily takes place during the last 8 years of her life.Please note, this project is unauthorized. The Nina Simone Estate was never asked permission nor invited to participate.I have seen many names regarding who you think should play the role of Nina. Remember Angela Bassett as Tina Turner? SHE NAILED IT! 
Angela Bassett is an ACTRESS! And, we all know she lip synced along with Tina and did an amazing job. Personally, I prefer an actress to a singer. Just because a person is great at one does not mean they will be great at the other. If written, funded and CAST PROPERLY a movie about my mother will make an lasting imprint.My vision of a movie about my mother includes SO many pivotal moments that are monumentally important towards relaying the journey of a woman whose journey began as a child prodigy born in North Carolina in the 1930's...too many to list here but, trust when I say the tale will inspire through the sheer sharing of HOW Eunice Waymon became Nina Simone, The High Priestess Of Soul renowned worldwide. How many of you know my mother's FIRST love was classical music? 
Do you know the hours she practiced preparing to audition for the Curtis Institute of Music only to be rejected because of the color of her skin? **After my mother made her transition I accepted a diploma from that very same institute with a speech she began writing but was unable to finish prior to her death.** As a child, my mother was told her nose was too big and she was too dark yet she graduated valedictorian of her high school class - The Allen School for Girls - AND, skipped two grades. Nina was one of the most outspoken, prolifically gifted artists using the stage to speak out against racism during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's. 
Her friends included Betty Shabazz, Lorraine Hansberry (my godmother), Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Miriam Makeba, Stokely Carmichael, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings and Queens worldwide. Had she become a classical pianist, which was her dream....shattered, I doubt she would have found her true destiny. Nina Simone was a voice for her people and she spoke out HONESTLY, sang to us FROM HER SOUL, shared her joy, pain, anger and intelligence poetically in a style all her own. My mother stood up for justice, by any means necessary hahahaha YES, she was a revolutionary til the day she died.

From Tragedy to Transcendence - MY VISION. The whole arc of her life which is inspirational, educational, entertaining and downright shocking at times is what needs to be told THE RIGHT WAY.By the way:Clifton Henderson was gay. He was not attracted to women. So, the truth is...Nina Simone and Clifton Henderson NEVER had a relationship other than a business one.Please correct me, but isn't a biopic the story of one's life?I have faith things will work out the right way and my mother's real story will be told. For all she endured while here and all of the lives she has touched, she DESERVES to be remembered for who she truly was; not some made up love story from a former nurse/manager (now deceased) who sold his life rights because of his relationship to Nina Simone. 
Ciao Y'All....Simone



  1. yes thank u! what are they thinking with zoe. i like her but as nina? no.

  2. Zoe? Seriously? This is a joke right?