Few performers in recent years have suffered as thorough a professional burn as Zoe Saldana in her ill-conceived and executed Nina Simone bio-pic. It’s true she was all wrong for the part for at least a dozen boulder-sized reasons, but she also wasn’t helped by a script that was more fiction than reality, according to those who knew Simone (including her daughter). Still, the backlash was intense enough to make even the most hardcore Simone fan feel a flicker of pity for Saldana.
Now on the PR road to promote the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, she and cast mate Zachary Quinto recently went toe-to-toe on the TV show “Lip Sync Battle.” While Quinto gets points for effort (and showing that it’s possible to dress up as a famous black person without using blackface), his game but stiff dance moves as Missy Elliot were no competition for Saldana’s joyful channeling of Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes. Bonus points to her for bringing out surviving TLC members T-Boz and Chilli.