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Angela Bassett - Idol Chatter
Angela Bassett - Idol Chatter

THE STAR OF SUNSHINE STATE IS READY FOR HER OSCAR. AND DON’T EVEN THINK OF GIVING HER A BOOTY CALL

IN JOHN SAYLE’S SUNSHINE STATE, YOU, MISS BASSETT—EVEN ALL DOWDIED OUT—STILL LOOK LIKE A MILLION BUCKS. TELL US—DO YOU EVER LOOK LIKE SHIT?
[She ponders the question. A while.]

I LOVE THAT YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT.
‘Cause I’m sure I DO sometimes [laughs] Okay: it’s when I put on 15 extra pounds right after a movie—I eat what I want and slack down on the gym. But I try not to let it get too out of pocket, ‘cause that What’s Love Got to Do With It image was so strong that people think of you as sexy and in shape, and as a woman in this business, you gotta keep that thing going.

YEP, YOUR TINA TURNER WAS ALL ABS AND BICEPS. WHAT WAS THAT SHOOT LIKE?
It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in life in terms of physicality—I mean, I was so tired I literally went to the bathroom and forgot to pull my drawers down. [laughs] And the

idea was to release the film while she was on tour, so now you’re talking about the comparison dynamic and…[opens mouth in silent scream]

AND THEN THEY GO AND SLAP THE REAL TINA ON AT THE END OF THE FILM. I ALWAYS HAD A PROBLEM WITH THAT.
Thank God I wasn’t the ONLY one. [laughs] But I got over it after a number of years by thinking, “God, if I’d done it poorly, that REALLY would have been a glaring example of bad acting.”

INSTEAD, YOU LANDED AN OSCAR NOMINATION AND WON A GOLDEN GLOBE. BY THE WAY, HOW’D YOU FEEL WHEN HALLE BERRY WON HER OSCAR?
I was ecstatic.

ANY ENVY AT ALL?
[quietly] Yeah…I want one. And not a month goes by that somebody doesn’t think that the performance in What’s Love should have, you know, WON. But maybe there’s a reason for that, because sometimes the Oscar may dupe you into believing that things are going to change, and that’s not necessarily the case. [smiles] What would make me feel even better is consistently good roles.

YEAH, I’VE ALWAYS SAID THAT, WITH YOUR LOOKS AND YALE-PEDIGREED CHOPS, IF YOU WERE A WHITE WOMAN YOU’D BE THE BIGGEST STAR IN HOLLYWOOD.
I do not disagree.

INSTEAD, YOU’RE OFTEN STUCK IN ROLES THAT USE A FRACTION OF YOUR TALENT.
They’re afraid of me! [laughs] No, no, no, I’m bullshittin’. You just have to put on your boxing gloves, keep taking the high road, and, you know, kick butt.

that I just want to act, be challenged in my work, and be paid fairly. But I don’t say yes to everything that’s offered, ‘cause you know what, honey? [smiles sweetly] All money ain’t good money.

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