The Losing Battle of Casting Biopics

A "Biopic" is a biographical film that dramatizes the life of an actual person, usually a famous person. Casting Biopics are extremely difficult because the characters portrayed have mannerisms and characteristics that the audience is very familiar with. Directors also have to battle criticism from fans of the person the Biopic portrays. There will always be an outcry over Biopic casting. No one can ever live up to the legacy of the person they portray. 

There have been two cases lately where casting choices for Biopics have sparked outcry, negative blog posts, and even petitions demanding recasting: 

Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone

While I have absolutely nothing against Zoe Saldana in general, I can understand the outcry of this choice. Regardless of acting talent, which I think Zoe has, it is very clear that physically Zoe Saldana and Nina Simone have very little in common. There has to be an actress out there who more closely resembles Miss Nina Simone without the prosthetics and make-up they're using on Zoe: 

Lil Mama as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes

Appearance is not the only thing to consider when casting a Biopic, but cosmetically, it is not a stretch for Lil Mama to pull off playing Left Eye at all. While many people are upset by the prospect of this Biopic, I think Lil Mama could totally pull it off. From watching her judge on America's Best Dance Crew I feel like she has the spunk and spark to play Left Eye accurately. 

Who has starred in your favorite or least favorite biopic?

I give a gold star to Jamie Foxx for his portrayal of Ray Charles in Ray. Hubs votes for Denzel Washington in the Malcom X movie. 


  1. I enjoyed Meryl Streep as Julia Child, and more recently Daniel Day-Lewis as Abe Lincoln.
    Will Smith also did an awesome job portraying Christopher Gardner's story in "The Pursuit of Happiness".

    You made some great points here. I didn't know about Nina Simone, or Left-Eye biopics.

  2. Salma Hayek should have won an award for Frida because she did a damn great job!

    I totally agree with you about the whole Nina Simone thing. I have nothing agaist Zoe, but I don't think she is a strong enough actress to pull this off. Nina Simone had some real issues and I'm wondering can Zoe reach deep into herself to bring the best that was Nina Simone!

  3. I could see Gabrielle Union playing Nina. I'm not much of a biopic watcher so I don't have favorites.

  4. Roy Dupuis as Maurice Richard in The Rocket was excellent. It's a Canadian film, so you may not have heard of it, I don't know. The Rocket was one of the best hockey players in the NHL and played back in the 40s-50s.
    Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia is still fantastic after all these years.
    Coal Miner's Daughter was great, and I thought Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones did excellent jobs in it.
    I agree with Jamie Foxx as Ray. Awesome.


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