Decades after her first performance in front of an audience, Angela Bassett can still remember her lines.
She told CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King that her first performance was Langston Hughes poem, “Madam and the Minister.” Since then, she’s starred in dozens of movies, including “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” and this year she’s Oscar-nominated for her performance as Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the sequel to the 2018 Marvel hit “Black Panther.”
Bassett woke up early to see if her name would be read.
“I mean, so excited that I woke up at 3:45. I did not plan to do that. I set my alarm for 5:25, just five minutes before, (to) sleep as long as I could,” Bassett laughed.
When her name was called, Bassett said, she yelped with excitement.
Her nomination for Best Supporting Actress comes nearly three decades after her last Oscar nomination, when she played Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got To Do With It.”
“The nomination now, it seems a lot busier, you know?” Bassett said. “I was green.”
In honor of her latest nomination, King and Bassett took a trip down memory lane, all the way back to the early 90s. King surprised Bassett with the “Proud Mary” dress that she wore in the 1993 film. It’s one of the few archived pieces from the movie.
“We would do take, and take, and take. We did that song all day,” Bassett said. “We’d do it from the top of the song to the end of the song, completely through, not like bits and pieces. The entire thing, me and the girls, The Ikettes, and afterwards … He would say ‘Go again,’ and you were like, ‘Can an actor have a moment, a minute?'”
Bassett added that she hadn’t seen the garment since the last day of filming.
“I love it. I love it,” she said. “Can I take it home? I’ll keep it safe.”
Bassett didn’t win the Oscar for “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” much to the world’s shock.
“In the moment … you’re hoping, and praying, and wishing, but I don’t walk away thinking ‘I’ve been robbed,'” Bassett said. “That’s too negative of an emotion to carry with me for the rest of my life.”
“I choose to believe that there’s a reason why it didn’t happen,” she said.
Bassett’s next role didn’t come for 18 months, but in 1995, she was in “Strange Days,” “Vampire in Brooklyn,” and “Waiting to Exhale,” a movie that King said she celebrated with a party.
“This was before we even knew the phrase ‘Black girl magic,'” King said. “But it was a group of Black women gathered around to watch that movie, and there was always something that everybody could relate to. And I loved ‘Waiting to Exhale.'”
Bassett said the movie was a “beautiful, serious, funny, poignant story” that wasn’t seen before.
“We hadn’t seen those characters and those stories and all those women together at the same moment in time, because it was as if women and Black women couldn’t carry a story, and we proved that we could,” Bassett said.
Bassett said it’s been an honor to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Queen Ramonda, for me, is just, at its core, a representation of the strong women that I’ve had in my life who’ve raised me, of the strong women I see, my love for them, my appreciation of them,” Bassett said.