Angela Bassett is covering InStyle’s February Subscriber issue. As an actor who has portrayed some of our most righteous and regal icons, the Queen of Wakanda, is a cinematic legend with a propensity for burning down barriers.
On breaking down barriers : “”Thirty and 40 years ago when I started out, Black characters were weighted too heavily in the negative,” says Bassett. “I was always mindful of those images. What are you saying about me and who I represent as a woman of color? There’s complexity to us. There’s beauty to us. There’s strength to us. There’s compassion to us. There are so many wonderful things.”
On the impact her work is making: “It’s the women in my family who have influenced my roles. Growing up without every convenience and then seeing my mother who persevered, and she still had grace. She would make a dollar out of 15 cents. She had resilience and threw herself into every detail, even if it was the way she took pride in setting a table. On the other hand, having an aunt who was an educator and went on to get her master’s and Ph.D. And growing up with my grandmother and great-grandmother, imagining what their struggles might have been like in Georgia in the early 1900s and what they endured. They continued to be gracious, beautiful, warm, and easy women with a smile and a laugh, despite it all.”
On getting her groove back: “Why not? [laughs] I can’t tell you how many times ladies have come up to me and said, “I got my groove back.” They’re embracing their sensuality and youth. In Hollywood, there was a time when people believed that once an actress turns 40, it’s over. But no, those things that make us who we are — our sensuality, sexuality, compassion, and intelligence — that doesn’t come to an end. It deepens and ripens, you know? It’s all in the attitude.”
On following her dreams: “My senior year in college, I told myself, “I’m going to give my own dreams a shot. And should they not work out the way I desire, I have all the time in the world to maybe give someone else’s a shot.” I look up to every single woman who has the courage to follow her heart. Any woman in any discipline who’s doing her thing. It takes courage and bravery to do it anyway when you’re unsure.”
The interview will be featured in InStyle’s February issue hitting newsstands on January 14th.
Cover: Alaïa Dress
Image 1: Valentino Gown | Roberto Coin Hoops | David Webb Necklace | Bulgari Bracelets and Rings
Image 2: Lanvin Cape (worn as a dress) | Patricia Von Musulin Earrings and Bracelets
Styling by Ron Hartleben
Hair by Randy Stodghill
Makeup by D’Andre Michael
Manicure by Saccia
[Photo Credit: Anthony Maule/InStyle Magazine]