Things That Matter

Sia’s Music Video For ‘Free Me’ Aims To Raise HIV Awareness With Powerful Performance By Zoe Saldana

Enigmatic Australian singer Sia, who is known for songs such as “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” — as well as hiding her face as much as possible — teamed up with Julianne Moore and Zoe Saldana recently. They collaborated on a music video for Sia’s new single, “Free Me,” and to also raise awareness for #EndHIV, a campaign to raise funds for HIV treatment research.

In this powerful music video for Sia’s “Free Me,” actress Julianne Moore narrates a deeply emotional moment where a pregnant mother (Zoe Saldana) is told by her doctor that she has HIV.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

The doctor continues, telling her that without proper treatment, she could possibly pass the virus on to her child. The music swells and the world around the mother, played perfectly by Saldana, melts away.

We proceed Sia-style, through a dark world of dance and emotions.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

Dancers join her, throwing her around, catching her, moving with her and seemingly ripping her apart as she tries to come to terms with what is happening to her. The dancers fight with one another, signifying the battle going on in her body.

At one point, Saldana dances alone with a backdrop of lights.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

She performs an interpretive dance to the hypnotic music, reaching out with clawed hands, only to have those hands pulled back. It’s a truly intense and bewildering dance that evokes some really strong and powerful emotions.

The video ends in with a powerful message.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

It also ends in tears: the mother’s tears, her baby’s tears and of course, our tears. A message for HIV awareness is narrated again by the sweet-voiced Julianne Moore as the video fades to black.

Watch the whole video below for the full effect.

Credit: Sia / Youtube

Remember to bring the tissues.

And if you know someone struggling with HIV, go to EndHIV.com to learn about the experimental treatment the video is promoting.


READ: Leave It To Zoe Saldana To Take Something As Dark As Her Character’s Baggage And Turn It Into A Message Of Strength And Redemption


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Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana Are Teaming Up to Produce ‘The Gordita Chronicles’ for HBO Max

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Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana Are Teaming Up to Produce ‘The Gordita Chronicles’ for HBO Max

Photos via Getty Images

Looking for a show to fill the “Jane the Virgin”-shaped hole in your heart? Well, we may have some good news! Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana teamed up on a new series called “The Gordita Chronicles” for HBO Max.

According to Deadline, “The Gordita Chronicles” will a follow a “willful, chubby, 12-year-old Dominican” named Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli. Cucu “struggles to fit into hedonistic 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American dream.”

Zoe Saldana has long been a producer on “The Gordita Chronicles”, while Eva Longoria was recently tapped to direct the pilot episode and executive produce the series.

But these two powerful Latinas aren’t the only ones with their hands on this project. Dominican-American producer and writer, Claudia Forestieri is the brains behind this series.

Forestieri is a former Telemundo reporter who changed tracks and began a career in TV-writing. She has previously written for Latino-centric shows like “Selena: The Series” and “Good Trouble”. Forestieri is a self-described “bilingual & biracial TV writer of Dominican-Italian descent who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami.”

Eva Longoria took to Instagram to express her elation over being involved in such a trailblazing project.

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A post shared by Eva Longoria Baston (@evalongoria)

“The Gordita Chronicles” is the perfect-storm of Hollywood Latino talent that have been working to have a project like this greenlit for a long time.

“I’m BEYOND excited & honored to announce my part within this brilliant team of women coming together to create ‘The Gordita Chronicles’,” she wrote. “I’ll be directing the pilot, while working alongside the amazing and talented @claudiforest, @brigliebs, @zoesaldana, and so many more!!”

She ended the statement with a comment and the sad state of Latino representation in Hollywood. “The lack of representation and diversity in Hollywood continues to be a major focus, rightfully so, and I’m so honored to be a part of the change!”

To make things more exciting, they have already found their lead. After an intensive search, producers cast an up-and-coming Afro-Latina child actress named Olivia Goncalves.

Per Deadline: “The Gordita Chronicles centers Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli (Goncalves), a willful 12-year-old Dominican immigrant with a heart of gold. Cucu leaves her home and her parochial school in Santo Domingo to live in Miami and pursue the American Dream during the hedonistic 1980s after her father, a marketing executive with a large airline, gets transferred there.”

The show will focus on Cucu as she “meets head-on the challenges of being an immigrant in a strange new world with humor, bravado and some really bad choices.”

If the synopsis is any indication of the show’s promise, please count us in! This sounds like a heartwarming, unique story that Hollywood doesn’t spotlight often enough. We can’t wait to watch!

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Zoe Saldana Apologizes For Portraying Nina Simone In 2016 Biopic

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Zoe Saldana Apologizes For Portraying Nina Simone In 2016 Biopic

Most of our favorites have a biopic highlighting their lives in ways we didn’t know them. In 2016, Nina Simone’s biopic was released with Zoe Saldana portraying her. There was a backlash then but Saldana did the movie anyway. Now, she’s sorry she did.

Zoe Saldana is showing remorse for portraying Nina Simone in a biopic years ago.

“I should have never played Nina,” Saldana says in a live video that has been shared on social media. “I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had 10 years ago, which was a different leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless. I should have done everything in my power to cast a black woman to play an exceptionally perfect black woman.”

Saldana continued with her apology by asking someone else to tell Simone’s story.

“She’s one of our giants and someone else should step up,” Saldana says. “Somebody else should tell her story.”

Saldana continues saying that Simone’s story has yet to be told on a large scale and it is a shame that more people have not heard her story, likely because of the biopic drama.

People are questioning Saldana’s motives for apologizing.

Simone’s family pushed back asking Saldana not to take the role in the past. They called her out for taking Simone’s legacy and taking the portrayal for someone who would have been better suited to tell the story.

Specifically, people are calling Saldana out for the colorism that played into her portrayal.

In the apology, Saldana does not mention the colorism that played a role in the backlash. Simone was a dark-skinned woman whose skin was important in her civil rights activism and identity. Saldana also had to wear a prosthetic on her nose to have the same nose as the singer.

While critics feel the same sentiment about Saldana as Simone, they want more from her apology.

Colorism is a very important conversation in the Black community. Saldana’s portrayal of Simone was a keystone moment in that discussion of colorism in the Black community. Many are still angered at Saldana’s portrayal of Simone because of the use of blackface and prosthetic to off-set Saldana’s European looks.

READ: Leave It To Zoe Saldana To Take Something As Dark As Her Character’s Baggage And Turn It Into A Message Of Strength And Redemption

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