LOS ANGELES (AP) – Angela Bassett has a presence that feels warm and inviting but also demands your respect. The actor moves like true Hollywood royalty, knows his worth, is dedicated to his craft and brims with confidence throughout an award-winning career spanning decades.
One Tuesday in January, Bassett awoke just before 3:45 a.m., unable to fall back asleep. In just two hours, she’ll hear Riz Ahmed announce her name as a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for her performance as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Bassett married her husband, actor Courtney B. recalls turning to wake Vance up (“I couldn’t experience it alone and then tell him about it later,” she said), and immediately received a text from fellow Oscar-nominated and award-winning costume Designer Ruth E. Carter.
“It was the first nomination and the first name,” she recalled.
Carter and Bassett have worked together at least five times on various projects and are longtime friends.
“I was happy to be there for her,” Bassett said of the “fantastic and undeniable” Carter, who won an Oscar in 2019 for the first “Black Panther” film.
Carter shared the same sentiment about Bassett, saying he was overjoyed to see his friend celebrate in such a big way.
“Well, I’m so happy for him. I remember when I got the Oscar. She came right up, and she was so full of joy and happiness for me,” Carter said at the African American Film Critics Association Awards on March 1.
“And I feel the same way for him,” Carter continued. That she is because of her flowers, and I am so excited to be here with her and to watch it and share in the love.
As Queen Ramonda, Bassett played the mother of Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. She called working with him “the highlight of her career”. He also made history as his Oscar nomination is Marvel’s first in an acting category.
“I’m absolutely thrilled about it. I didn’t know that — it was something I only learned about a couple of weeks ago,” Bassett said at a February Oscar nominees luncheon.
Bassett has appeared in cult classic and tentpole films alike, including the late John Singleton’s “Boyz n the Hood” and Forest Whitaker’s “Waiting to Exhale.”
While attending the Santa Barbara Film Festival earlier this year, Bassett said that her time as Katherine Jackson in the 1992 series “The Jacksons: An American Dream” prepared her to portray Tina Turner. Her turn as the singer in “What’s Love Got to Do With It” earned the actor her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Nearly 30 years later, Bassett has been engulfed in a whirlwind of award shows and press junkets in preparation for the Oscars. Bassett says she’s “caught up” amid the fast pace of awards season and has a sound machine that lulls her to “peaceful dreams” as she crosses town from one red carpet to the next.
Earlier this year, she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. She has also become a viral meme thanks to Arianna DeBose, who declared that “Angela Bassett worked!” BAFTA performance. Bassett also recently won the NAACP Image Award for Entertainer of the Year.
While Bassett is upbeat about her Oscar nomination, she acknowledges the Academy’s failure to include more actors of color and women in its list of nominees. She advises that Academy members should expand their circle of reference when considering films and performances.
“But I would say first and foremost, watch an array of movies. Whether you think you can relate to it or not, or whether it looks like you or not, or whether the stories sound intriguing, give them all a chance. Because it’s — well, it’s easy, and it’s possible to miss very, very good performances,” Bassett told the AP. “But frame of reference is everything. So, a wide and open frame of reference.” Keep.”
As March 12 approaches, Bassett’s supporters wait to see if this is the year she will forever be known as Academy Award-winning actress Angela Bassett. But where will she display her Oscar if that moment does come?
“You know, something like this looks good anywhere,” Bassett said. “Maybe it’ll have to tour a little, see where it wants to land. In my hand, near my heart.”
For more on this year’s Oscars, watch:
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