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Kola
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Post Number: 2439
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Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 06:21 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

MARY J. Blige to play Nina Simone
in new MTV/Paramount film


MaryNina

From MTV NEWS:

Mary J. Blige is set to star in an as-yet-untitled biopic that will focus on the rise of late, legendary jazz/soul singer Nina Simone. It will be the singer's first starring role in a film (she made her big-screen debut alongside Q-Tip and Fat Joe in 2001's "Prison Song").

The film, an MTV Films/ Paramount Pictures project, will also take a look at Simone's relationship with Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson. Simone's eclectic career took off during the 1960s, and the singer was renowned for her powerful jazz ballads and protest songs, including "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black" the latter, subsequently covered by Aretha Franklin and many others, served as an anthem for the civil rights movement. Simone essentially retired in the mid-1970s and eventually moved to France, where she died in 2003.

The film will be produced by Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine along with Lauren Lloyd, Gene Kirkwood and Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg. A director has not been named, but the screenplay will be penned by television writer Cynthia Mort ("Will & Grace," "Roseanne").

In the meantime, Blige's seventh studio full-length, The Breakthrough, is set to hit stores on December 20 (see "Mary J. Blige's Breakthrough Is Coming Out This Year After All").

Chris Harris




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Kola
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Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 06:24 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I so wish that India Arie could play this role instead.

I love Mary and I think she could do something good in film....but I'm too much of a Nina Simone fan to ever believe her as Nina.

The woman's mannerisms, her beliefs, her way of talking and singing--I just don't think Mary is complex enough herself to be able to create the living "angst" that was Nina Simone's every movement.

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Kola
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Posted on Monday, December 05, 2005 - 06:24 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Perhaps since YOUNG HIP HOP people don't really know anything about Nina

....Mary will be able to pull it off.

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Roxie
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Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 07:43 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What are talking about ? I have three of her albums.

Besides, picture Mary with short natural hair and a fake nose (a'la Nicole Kidman in "The hours") and she could pass as nina little bit. ;)

Though I wonder if she's willing to sacrifice the blond tresses though?
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Tonya
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Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 10:27 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, Roxie.. I think they are strikingly similar, except for the nose, too.

But I don't know enough about Nina Simone nor Mary's acting capabilities to comment on whether or not Mary is the best person for the job. Since Nina is such an important legendary figure, I do hope they get the right person. I benefit a lot from movies that are based on true life and legends. For , example, I didn't know much about Ray Charles until the movie "Ray" was made (Which happened to be one of the best films to come out in a long time). I'd like to get to know more about Nina too, so I hope Mary does for her what Jammie Fox did for Ray Charles.

Wishful thinking?
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Zuriburi
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Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 11:01 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

'I be nina simone.'
I am sooooooooooooo happy that a movie is being about the Great Nina Simone.
Dissapointed that Mary is playing her, but Mary's saving grace may be that fact that she, like Nina Simone, is so honest and we love them for that.


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Cynnique
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Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 11:31 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kola can't ever see past India Arie and Lauryn Hill. India Arie this and Lauryn Hill that! Personally, I think Mary's voice and demeanor are very adaptable to the role of Nina Simone. And Mary has certainly experienced angst, what with how she came up the hard way, went through several failed romances, and struggled with a drug problem. If she can do a good job of imitating Nina's piano mannerisms, I think Mary J. will do just fine.
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Kola
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Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 04:49 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, but India Arie has proven she can act her butt off when she played Nina Simone on the t.v. show "AMERICAN DREAMS".

And who can deny that India Arie and Lauryn Hill are the Nina Simones of today?

I don't believe that Nina Simone was EVER on drugs!

It's like people assume that every black woman has been on drugs.

MY HOPE is that Mary will recognize what a monumental political figure Nina was and that she will work very, very hard to put Nina's integrity on the screen more than anything else.

I also detest that a White woman sitcom writer is writing the script. And that James Lovine and MTV are likely to remove some of Nina's most "Blackest" revolutionary comments and attitudes---the things that would rise the film above mere docudrama and make it special.

Not to mention---the music. They gotta get the music right. But I will be happy to hear Mary J. Blige singing such powerful material...AT LAST. She really needed songs like "To Be Young Gifted and Black" all along. Hope she don't fuck up "Wild Is the Wind"----and they better leave "Pirate Jenny" alone altogether, because Mary's plain not eccentric enough to pull that show tune off. She should rock the hell out of "Four Women", though.





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Renata
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Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 05:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

IMHO, India looks more like her than Mary does, and also India's natural personality, way of dressing, etc., seem closer to Nina's, so she wouldn't have to do much acting at all.

Nothing agains Mary, she may be good at it. She was probably chosen because she's more popular than anything.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2005 - 12:58 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gimme a break! India Arie and Lauryn Hill the Simones of today! No freakin way! Nina was a classically-trained pianist and a jazz legend. Wimpy India and erratic Lauryn can't hold a candle to her. Not only that, India is gawky and Lauryn is scrawy and Nina was round and curvacious. And really, now, how much acting prowess did it take to do a cameo on American Dreams? And I do believe that Nina did have a drug problem there for a minute. Obviously I reject India and Lauryn as candidates for the role of Nina Simone. Mary J bring a rawness to the role that would allow her to be molded into a recreation of an icon.
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Edenson
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Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 02:07 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

India Arie is not interesting enough. Her personality is so BLAH. She's boring. All you have to do is look at her and you know what she is about. I think Lauryn could do a good job, even though she hasn't acted in years, she would draw a lot of attention for the movie. As for Mary, she needs to work on her acting, and I think she's been told that, and I think she knows it too. But seeing as how the movie is being produced by MTV, I'm not surpirsed that they would take out the more controversial stuff. Mary might want to be careful, and anyone else who wants to portray a famous figure. After Jamie Foxx's win, everyone expects every actor after to either do as good a job as Jamie or better, when it comes to playing famous people.
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Renata
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Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 02:45 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I must say that I don't know much about India's personality. But to look at her, she looks pretty interesting to me.
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Cynnique
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 02:17 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In reagrd to Mary J. Blighe playing Nina Simone, the same reservations were expressed about Diana Ross playing the role of Billie Holiday, and Ms Ross ended up getting an Oscar nomination for her performance.
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Kola
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 05:00 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Diana Ross was

cunning

ambitious like a pirahna

smart

had a BLACK TEAM who knew her building each scene of the movie tailor made to fit her

Diana Ross

is a breathtaking actress--filled with charisma and quick wittedness. She had a star quality that hasn't been seen in a black female entertainer since.....well, since Diana Ross.

Not to mention Berry Gordy was smart enough to base the script on a JOAN CRAWFORD movie "Mannequin"....instead of Billie Holiday's real life.






I have not said that Mary J. Blige will not do well in this role.

I lamented that Nina Simone's politics are almost identical to India Arie and Lauryn Hill....both of whom have demonstrated that they CAN ACT.

Meaning...they don't sound like they're reading when they say a line. They aren't stiff and they have imaginations...they can be very natural as other people.

Lauryn's roles in "Restaurant" and "Sister Act 2"---not to mention her fantastic role on "AS THE WORLD TURNS" (anyone remember?) proved that she's an A-caliber actress waiting to happen.

India Arie was truly Nina Simone in her role on American Dreams....and playing a 1960's mother on the Kids Network Show (forget the show)---I forgot it was India.

She did a southern accent and played the church mother to a "T".

Nina Simone's controversial song themes and what she feels about black looks.....are identical to India and Lauryn. She was a very brilliant THINKING woman---people thought she was crazy.

Not a sympathetic hood girl who simply tells it like it is and BASICALLY allows the society to dictate what she's supposed to be and look like---as is the case with blond, "Puffy and Z tell me what to do" Mary.

Mary J. Blige...personality wise....is more like Aretha Franklin.

Other people pick her music, advise her on how to keep up with trends and she relies on her fans..to dictate the direction she's going in.

Nina was none of that.

I have followed Mary's entire career just like I have India and Lauryn. I have all their music and I love Mary and am a big fan of hers--mainly because she's so vulnerable and insecure.

But Mary is nowhere NEAR as honest or has as much INTEGRITY or understanding of the world around her.....as the gifted India Arie and Lauryn Hill do. And those women are intensely interesting and are ABOUT SOMETHING.

India Arie would make the quintessential Nina Simone in a film.

With this particular film...I don't trust Jimmy Lovine or the White Woman Comedy Writer doing the Script and damned sure don't trust MTV.

Nina Simone was so ANTI-establishment!!!!

She would NEVER deal with MTV and whites who weren't willing to let her SAY what was on her mind. Half of which was to curse their white asses out!

And to be honest...if "I" was casting the movie.....I would hire a REAL ACTRESS and have her Lip Synch Nina Simone's music.

That's what would truly please the fans most.

But I am happy for Mary.

Because I am definitely a Mary J. Blige fan.

And I am SO GLAD that she will at last get to use her emotive bluesy voice in the kind of upper quality songs that she rarely gets to sing.

She really needed material this good---I believe Mary will excel in the singing---and I can't wait for the soundtrack.




Last Note: Nina Simone was never on drugs. Not even briefly.



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Tonya
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 05:20 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ladies,

All this talk reeeeaaaaalllly makes me wanna learn more about Nina Simone. What's the name of a book that *truly* captures who she was?

Tonya
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Kola
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 05:35 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A book can't do it.

You really have to listen to her albums.

And songs like:

"Mississipi Goddamn"

"Four Women" (banned by black radio in NY, Phil.)

"Sugar In My Bowl"

"To Be Young, Gifted and Black"

"I Put a Spell On You"

"I Loves You Porgy"

"Wild Is the Wind"

"Pirate Jenny" (her broadway show tune about killing whites)

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Kola
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 05:36 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And of course...

"My Baby Just Cares for Me"


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Cynnique
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 11:12 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I still say that when I read a brief blurb about Nina after she died, some mention was made of the fact that she briefly had a drug problem. After all, during her heyday drugs were very wide-spread in the jazz scene. And with all of her anger and resentment, it was very apparent that Nina was still seeking approval. Wasn't she at one time married to a white man???












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Kola
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 11:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique, here's her Bio.

You could be right---but there is no official record of her ever doing drugs. She was never caught or treated for it.

Not sure if her second husband was White?

What shocked the hell out of me......

...is that she shot two people.

__________

Civil rights campaigner

At the height of her fame she was closely associated with the black civil rights movement, connected with both the radical black playwright Lorraine Hansberry and the controversial Malcolm X.

"I was on the side of Malcolm, there's no doubt about that," she later reflected.

She proved her point by releasing her song Mississippi Goddamn after the murder of black activist Medgar Evers in Mississippi 1963.

Her years of campaigning finally took their toll and in 1971 the volatile singer, nearing nervous exhaustion, decided to leave the States for good.

During the same year she also divorced her second husband of 10 years, Andrew Benjamin Stroud.

Stroud acted as her business partner and personal manager while swindling her out of $250,000 (173,000) before the marriage ended.

In her later years the Simone resided in the south of France. Resolutely private, she became a difficult interviewee, often displaying an irrational temper and refusing to turn up for engagements.

In 1995 she shot and wounded her neighbour's son because the youth's laughter had interrupted her concentration. She also fired a shot at a record company executive whom she accused of underpaying her royalties.

There is no doubt that one of jazz's greatest talents will go down in history as much for her tumultuous life as for her musical skills.

On reviewing her own life, Simone reflected: "I lost four children in miscarriages and there has been a lot of unhappiness. But there has been an equal amount of happiness."

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Cynnique
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 11:46 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Damn. If she wasn't on drugs, she should've been. LOL.
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Kola
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 11:53 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I actually believe you're right Cynique.

She was just never caught or treated. She's one of the VERY FEW who has no public record of drug use.

But she had to be!

Did you read that bio?

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Kola
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Posted on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 11:54 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think she did her shit in Europe. LOL

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Christina Head
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Posted on Thursday, January 05, 2006 - 06:01 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kola, I couldnt have said it better! But nina was not on drugs and she is way to compliated to learn from a book or MTV movie...you have to listen to every lyric, every interview and concert...and it takes years and years to really become a fan. Nina was and is amazing and there hasn't been another artist that have come close even Lauren and India...Nina needs to be handled with delicate hands...you cant just through anyone into a role about her life. One of the reasons Maty will never be Nina is because she isn't dark enough...nina's skin color...not that she was black, but that she was black, and she had a big mouth that mr. charlie couldn't shut up. She died not knowing what an impact she made on the lives of so many...so on that note, I will continue to listen to my many of nina simone cds
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Cynnique
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Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 02:23 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and of course the opinion of a rabid fan has to be taken with a grain of salt. Apparently, if some people had their way, the life of Nina Simone would never be memorialized on the screen. The general public could never be introduced to her body of work and her fans could just keep her to themselves, just place her on a pedestal that their blind loyalty reinforces. As I have stated before, in my opinion, Mary J. Blige has enough ingredients to capture the essence of Nina.

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