Tag Archives: Zoe Saldana

Table For Two: Star Trek Into Darkness

By Kendra James and Arturo R. García

Image via Collider.com

You know why we picked the poster for the 3D showings of Star Trek Into Darkness? Because that’s about two more dimensions than the story ended up having. Set phasers to spoilers under the cut, as we talk about Khan, Sulu, Uhura, and where the franchise might go after this — assuming the fan backlash doesn’t sink the new film series.

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A Few Thoughts On Star Trek: Into Darkness

By Arturo R. García

Poster for “Star Trek Into Darkness.” Image via thetrekcollective.com

Kendra and I will have a more thorough discussion regarding Star Trek Into Darkness on Wednesday. But, now that the film is out and a rather big racebending cat is out of the bag, I figured we’d open things up for a bigger discussion. Spoilers under the cut.
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Quoted: Zoe Saldana On The Nina Simone Controversy


The reality is that what keeps me focused and what kept me from, I guess, getting stressed or being hurt by the comments is that I’m doing it for my sisters, I’m doing it for my brothers, and I don’t care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that. I know who I am, and I know what Nina Simone means to me.

So, that is my truth and that sets me free. And I can only rely on that and maintain as much humility as possible, so that when I have to face the world, and we have to then give the movie to the world to see and share it with them, that if it comes back in any other way, if it comes back in a negative fashion or positive, I’m gonna keep my chin up. Because that’s who I am and that’s who I’ll be and Nina was like that, too.

I did it all out of love–out of love for Nina, out of love for my people and who I am and my pride of being a black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman and that’s my truth.

[h/t Vibe Vixen]

Introducing: The Racialicious Casting Couch

By Kendra James

“Casting Couch” by Derek Lane. Image via Flickr Creative Commons.

Sutton Foster and Kelli O’Hara-esque young white ingenues are a dime a dozen on Broadway, but can you name  three Asian women who have risen to that level of fame on the Great White Way? And we all know it’s easier to become the next Julia Roberts than it is to become the next…is there an Asian American Julia Roberts in Hollywood?

All the talk concerning casting in film, television, and theatre this week (plus the advent of television pilot season) had me diving back into my favorite source of online Casting Fails, a few of which I’ve posted under the cut.
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Quoted: Shadow & Act On Zoe Saldana Playing Nina Simone

On-set photo of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone, via Shadow & Act.

Let me just first say that, in all fairness, we don’t know what stage of the make-up process she’s in here. So the final *look* after all the work is done (which may or may not include prosthetics), might be very different from what we see here.

So, I wouldn’t judge based solely on these pictures.

However, what we could probably learn from the photos is that Zoe Saldana will likely be made-up to resemble Nina Simone as much as possible, afro and all.
- From “Photos Of Zoe Saldana On-Set Of Nina Simone Project Surface (What Can We Learn From Them?)”

Chromatic Casting: The All-Female Expendables

By Arturo R. García

Film bloggers got a bit abuzz last week at reports that an all-female spinoff of the Expendables franchise was being developed, with “several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre” being contacted.

This being Hollywood, of course, don’t expect too much on the diversity front–heck, even seeing Jet Li as part of the crew in Sylvester Stallone’s original ensemble and Yu Nan and Terry Crews in the sequel–is about as good as we’re probably going to get in that series.

But here at Chromatic Casting, we know we can do better. And so we’ll give it a shot under the cut.

Keeping in mind that this series basically involves anthropomorphic tropes as characters, we won’t get too deep with the descriptions, but we’ll slot folks into some archetypal roles for the protagonist team, with the villains being a bit more fluid.
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How The Dark- vs. Light-Skin Debate Misses The Point About Black Women And The Media

By Guest Contributor Spectra, cross-posted from Spectra Speaks

Zoe Saldana (l) and Nina Simone. Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter.

In case you missed it, Hollywood is gearing up to release a biopic of Nina Simone, an African-American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist whose music was highly influential in the fight for equal rights for blacks in the U.S.

I myself was only introduced to Nina Simone via a remake of her song, “Feeling Good.” I remember jamming to it in my dorm room when a friend of mine remarked that it was nowhere near being as good as the original. I promptly searched for the original on YouTube and was blown away by the command of her voice.

Further searches led me to “Strange Fruit“, a song (based on a famous poem written by Abel Meeropol) she performed about lynchings in the South, along with a slew of other noteworthy appearances that punctuated her career path as a Black woman singer-turned-political figure.

A biopic about Nina Simone will undoubtedly strike a chord with the African-American community. But given the recent controversy surrounding the project’s casting choices (i.e. Zoe Saldana, a Dominican actress as the lead), it’s not likely to be perceived as the “right” chord.

But when is it ever?
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Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Nichelle Nichols

By Andrea Plaid

Gina Torres reigns as the current Queen of Sci-Fi and Sci-Fantasy, true. And if it wasn’t  for Nichelle Nichols, we probably wouldn’t be talking about Torres. Or Avery Brooks as Captain Sisko. Or Zoe Saldana as the new Uhura. Or my doing fan-dancing.

 

Courtesy: Emmy TV Legends

Nichols’ iconic status in sci-fi results from a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Frustrated during her first year on the original Star Trek, she decided to leave the show.

It sounds like you put a lot of thought into the part. Why did you want to quit after the first season?

After the first year, Grace Lee Whitney was let go so it became Bill and Leonard. The rest of us became supporting characters. I decided to leave the show after the first season.

What convinced you to stay on?

I was at a fundraiser and the promoter of the event said there’s somebody that wants to meet you. He is your biggest fan. I stood up and turned to see the beatific face of Dr. Martin Luther King walking towards me with a sparkle in his eye. He took my hand and thanked me for meeting him. He then said I am your greatest fan. All I remember is my mouth opening and shutting.

What was that like?

I thanked him so much and told him how I’d miss it all. He asked what I was talking about, and told me that I can’t leave the show. We talked a long time about what it all meant and what images on television tell us about ourselves.

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