Exclusive: Broadway actor Kevin Mambo joins Zoe Saldana’s Nina Simone film.
Exclusive: Broadway actor Kevin Mambo joins Zoe Saldana’s Nina Simone film
Posted by Wilson Morales
October 22, 2012
Blackfilm.com has learned that two-time Emmy winner and Broadway actor Kevin Mambo (‘Fela!) is the latest addition to the Nina Simone biopic, ‘Nina,’ which stars Zoe Saldana.
Directed and written by Cynthia Mort, the biopic will tell the tale the story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone, including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson, played by David Oyelowo.
Mambo will play the role of Gille, a French guitarist and a member of Simone’s band. Already cast in the film is Mike Epps, who will play Richard Pryor in a supporting role. Pryor opened for the singer when they two were starting out in the early 1960s. Pryor had terrible stage fright and Simone, in her autobiography, recalled how she regularly rocked him into calmness.
Filming has begun in Los Angeles with Mark Burton, Barnaby Thompson, Stuart Parr and Ben Latham Jones producing. Ealing Studios is behind the movie and handling foreign sales. Shadow and Act managed to get a set photo of Saldana in makeup.
A Canadian of Zimbabwean descent, Mambo played famed musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in the Broadway production of the musical ‘Fela!‘ He shared the role with Sahr Ngaujah (ABC’s ‘The Last Resort). He’s currently portraying Mafala Hatimbi in the National Tour of ‘The Book of Mormon.’ Its Los Angeles run will continue through November 25, 2012. His other theater credits include the critically acclaimed off-Broadway production ‘Ruined,’ which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
An accomplished musician who can play the piano, bass, saxophone, and guitar, Mambo’s film credits include ‘Cadillac Records’ where his character played the guitar. He won a Daytime Emmy for Younger Actor in a Drama Series in 1996 and 1997 for his work on the now-cancelled soap opera ‘Guiding Light.’