Actress Zoe Saldana has opened up about the negative comments she received about her casting as Nina Simone in a new biopic.

Cynthia Mort, the director of the upcoming film Nina, was forced to defend the 38-year-old star as her leading lady last year after receiving negative comments from the late musician's daughter, Simone Kelly, and Grammy winner India.Arie.

Speaking to HipHollywood.com, Saldana explained that she signed up for the project "out of love" for the jazz legend, saying: "What keeps me focused and what kept me from getting stressed and hurt by the comments is (that) I'm doing this for my sisters. I'm doing it for my brothers. I don't care who tells me I'm not this and that. I know who I am. I know what Nina Simone means to me. That is my truth and that is what set me free.

"I did it out of love. Out of love for Nina. Out of love for my people. For who I am. My pride of being a Black woman. A Latina woman. An American woman. That's my truth."