Issa Rae to Play Nina Simone in Lorraine Hansberry Biopic

Issa Rae, Nina Simone

Issa Rae to Play Nina Simone in Lorraine Hansberry Biopic

A Raisin in the Sun playwright was very close to Simone.

PUBLISHED ON : JUNE 4, 2013 / 08:45 AM

Nina Simone is getting the biopic treatment, again. 

Awkward Black Girl creator Issa Rae will play the jazz legend in a biopic about playwright Lorraine Hansberry,'s Shadow & Act reports. Hansberry, the award-winning writer of A Raisin in the Sun and the youngest Black female to launch a production on Broadway, was a close friend of Simone's and the biopic will explore their relationship. 

Rae's portrayal of Simone will be considerably smaller than that of Zoe Saldana, who is playing the singer in an upcoming biopic. The casting of Saldana raised nothing short of a firestorm of controversy, with many in the Black community feeling like Dominican-born Saldana is an inappropriate choice to play an African-American icon. Saldana responded to the criticism on by admitting she felt "disappointed" by the reaction.

The Lorraine Hansberry biopic, which explores the short yet rich life of the celebrated writer, will also star Jaleel White and Hansberry's grand niece Taye Hansberry, who is penning the script. Production is set to begin this fall.

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 (Photos from left: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images, Courtesy of Legacy Recording)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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