The 37-year-old actress defended her decision to play the late singer in the July issue of Allure following criticism she is too light-skinned and non-political to have portrayed Simone in Nina.
"There's no one way to be black," the star said in response. "I'm black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I'm raising black men. Don't you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain."
Saldana, who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage, faced backlash for wearing dark makeup in the movie, among other concerns. The actress, who turned down the role for a year, said, however, she doesn't regret taking on the role.
"I made a choice," she explained. "Do I continue passing on the script and hope that the 'right' black person will do it, or do I say, 'You know what? Whatever consequences this may bring about, my casting is nothing in comparison to the fact that this story must be told.'"
"The fact that we're talking about her, that Nina Simone is trending? We [expletive] won," the star declared. "For so many years, nobody knew who the [expletive] she was. She is essential to our American history. As a woman first, and only then as everything else."
Nina opened in limited release in April to heavy criticism from fans and Simone's estate. Saldana had previously told Hip Hollywood she would "keep her chin up" no matter the response to the film.
"I'm doing it for my sisters, I'm doing it for my brothers and I don't care who tells me that I am not this and I am not that," she declared. "I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me, so that is my truth and that set me free."
Saldana will next star as Uhura in Star Trek Beyond, out July 22. The actress is also slated to reprise the role of Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Neytiri in Avatar 2.