Zoe Saldana is begging Nina Simone devotees to hold off on criticising her for signing up to play the jazz legend in a new biopic until they see the film because she's determined to do the role justice.
Fans of the My Baby Just Cares For Me singer have made it clear they don't approve of first-time director Cynthia Mort's casting because the actress isn't black enough to play Simone, but Saldana wants them just to give her a chance.
She says, "It did hurt a little, but at the end of the day, I wanted her story to be told.
"If Elizabeth Taylor could play Cleopatra, if Diana Ross can play Billie Holiday, if Denzel Washington can play Malcolm (X) and Meryl Streep can play the Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher)... the only thing I ask is to be given a chance to play Nina Simone.
"If at the end, you watch the movie and don't like it, then OK, but at least you saw it."