In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Angela Bassett discusses the issue of diversity in Hollywood; why she listens to her gut when it comes to her career and the one role that impacted her personally. Peep a few excerpts.
On what transitions she’s witnessed Hollywood undergo when it comes to racial and gender diversity:
It’s a conversation that’s been coming for decades. For many years, I was always asked this type of question. But it’s more obvious now with the number of folks who look different from each other that you see on television, especially with shows like “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Quantico,” “Scandal,” “Black-ish” or “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Advice she gives to women about choosing strong roles:
I have always encouraged people to discover who you are. Stand in your own truth. I am not attracted to every kind of role. Strong, resilient women are the roles I have been attracted to. A rich, full-bodied character is interesting — whether she’s strong, weak, resilient or vulnerable. Sometimes in weakness there is strength. When someone is open enough to be able to show their vulnerability, it gives others the strength and the courage to show theirs. It’s not always all about power or the roar.
It depends on your taste and your beliefs. I wasn’t one to do a lot of nudity. But that’s not to say that no one should. Some are so free and not self-conscious in any way about that. And there’s beauty in that.
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How she knows when a role is right for her:
You listen to the gut. You get excited. You jump in and start dissecting. You start wondering and thinking, “OK, how would she do this? What does she want? How does she get it?” It’s a personal excitement. You go back to the first love — you just love doing it. You don’t get tired and you’re not bored.
The one role that impacted her the most personally:
Most definitely Tina [Turner] in “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” It was physically, emotionally and spiritually the most difficult role. It was a through-the-fire experience, but I came out on top. It worked. It was believable and it stood the test of time. It worked in people’s imaginations and hearts. It is the most fulfilling even though it was also the most difficult role.