Angela Bassett opens up about her struggles with infertility, the secret to her successful 16-year-Hollywood marriage and how Black Nativity put her face-to-face with one of her greatest challenges.
There is a stark difference between perception and reality. Based on her regal presence on-screen and on the red carpet, Angela Bassett is someone of whom many folks may have a preconceived notion of aloofness. But according to the celebrated performer, they are completely off-base.
“I’m pretty sure that people think that I’m really serious,” she says. “I know that they think I’m stern as well. People are always surprised that I’m actually fun, and not all stuck-up and mean!”
Truthfully, why should she be? At 55, Bassett is in her prime both in life and career. While many actresses— especially those of color— are forced to tap out of the game after surpassing the point of portraying a young, sexy sweet thing, the native New Yorker has aged like fine wine. Having the luxury of being more posh, think a refined champagne and not a bargain-priced wine, she’s not on every table but always on the scene, particularly where it matters most.
Among the star’s list of recent coups are the political thriller Olympus Has Fallen, which grossed $161 million and has already garnered whispers of a sequel; and the much-talked about Lifetime movie, Betty and Coretta, in which she played Coretta Scott King. Currently she is casting a spell on fans each week as part of FX’s hit series, American Horror Story: Coven. She co-stars next in Black Nativity (out November 27), a reimagining of Langston Hughes 1961 work. The film is written and directed by Bassett’s longtime friend, Kasi Lemmons.
“We both lived in New York as young actresses and would run into each other,” recalls Bassett. “When Kasi called me about this project I was very excited. It’s a timeless story about the ideas of family, faith and forgiveness. She showed me her vision through photographs and gave me a feel of the project, which would include a lot of musical genres. I just knew it would be a great film.”
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