BASSETT: I literally remember saying that - if I could make people feel as bad as I feel right now. Updated Dec 19, 2020 ‘Killing Eve’ star Jodie Comer has admitted she is “very much” in love. Let's get back to the interview our guest interviewer Sam Sanders recorded with Angela Bassett. I call upon Bast. I'm fine with it. But I have seen one back in the day of Betty Carter, you know, leading her quartet of young musicians, you know, whether it's Cyrus Chestnut, you know, and that ilk. And I remember thinking it would be as difficult for me to follow, you know, something that I had no aptitude or interest in than it would be to follow the most difficult thing that I'm passionate about. One day, an old student of Joe's, who is a drummer for Dorothea Williams' band, he calls Joe. It's so alive. SANDERS: Angela Bassett, thank you so much for your time here on FRESH AIR. You know, little four lines here (laughter), you know, and do some Langston Hughes poems there and put a little ginger on it, you know, put a little funk on it, a little drama, you know - wherever I could. I'm Terry Gross. BASSETT: (As Dorothea) So we're down to middle school band teachers now? But then you get an opportunity to do television, and then you want to do more. You know, there is one movie that's always spoken of. But that ain't you, sis. So to - you know, to come along and then here's this opportunity and to - you know, and I remember my my agent's like, no, no, no. This is FRESH AIR. So it really is about, you know, this is what it looks like, but always maintaining and having and insisting on your respect and humanity and that of others. We have to. He is introducing Joe, who is played by Jamie Foxx. I, like, pulled my hair in front of my face. And it was wonderful to have opportunities with young directors maybe who didn't - they didn't look at it like that. SANDERS: Oh, that is a song for drama, though, because, you know, it just builds up and you can just go. We're - you know, we've got - we take care of ourselves. Why did you think you got that message? And she integrated and intertwined those two things in such a dramatic way, which, of course (laughter), I would appreciate as a lover of drama and of music. Here's a scene from the movie. Ze verdiende een beurs aan de prestigieuze Yale-universiteit.In 1980 behaalde ze een Bachelor in 'African-American studies' en in 1983 ontving ze een Master in 'Fine Arts' op de Yale School of Drama. But it's generally just a reader or the director. You did that. Perry Mason: In the Case of the Silenced Singer, List of awards and nominations received by Angela Bassett,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Epiosde: "Angela Bassett Is the Baddest Bitch", Television documentary series; episode: "Water Apocalypse", Television series (28 episodes); executive producer, This page was last edited on 12 November 2020, at 08:38. SANDERS: And you can say watching like eight times over again to really get that effect. But this is also a Pixar movie, which means that "Soul" is about bigger things as well, like what makes a person a person, what happens before and after life on Earth and what's the purpose of life anyway? BASSETT: You know what? You wouldn't get the role. BASSETT: Oh, yeah. Like, you have this career now where you've literally seemed to have touched every kind of type of performance as an actress, you know, on stage, on film. That's true. You turned it down then. You love seeing it all around you. You look at me, there's (laughter) no denying I'm a colored girl. SANDERS: There's a line you have as Katherine Jackson in the movie, and correct me if I'm wrong - in the miniseries, rather. AMARA LA NEGRA: (As Sydney) That's what it was. Well, the family's just my mother and sister. Emmy®, … BASSETT: Yeah. Accuracy and availability may vary. And yet, you know, perhaps, from time to time early in the career, you're in a career where you are sort of boxed in or shoved into, you know, little, safe, recognizable places and stuff. I used to run around my house in my parents' face, going, I don't want you no more. You have to bring it along slowly. You're trying to express yourself. They give you something different. Are you teaching them things different about race than the way race was taught to you when you were a kid? But she - so she - whenever she would see me perform - oh, Angela, when you did that, when you said, he dropped them - she had seen me in a production for colored girls, "Lady In Red." She's one of the voices in the new Disney and Pixar animated film "Soul.". I love that, that callback. 21 IN C MAJOR, K. 467 'ELVIRA MADIGAN': II. And with apologies to the writers and to you and to everyone else in this clip, we have to bleep the Bs for broadcast. You feel that coming. Pixar's new animated film "Soul" has an all-star cast providing the voices, Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Daveed Diggs, Questlove and our guest, Angela Bassett. And, you know, it's great - you know, you make $500 for the day or whatever. SANDERS: It's so good. It's more like - you know, it's more like - it was more like street theater. I mean, and - but all I had to do was get out of jail and talk on the phone and get somebody to come down and get me. Yeah. Share, rate and discuss pictures of Angela Bassett's feet on wikiFeet - the most comprehensive celebrity feet database to ever have existed. BASSETT: I can't even reflect on that. And then to - you know, to come through Yale School of Drama and walk by the plate glass window of an office and see Lloyd Richards sitting there as the head of your drama school, you know, the first Black man to direct "A Raisin In The Sun," a Black play by Lorraine Hansberry on Broadway, and to see working actors - you know, Gregory Hines in, you know, "Tap Dance Kid" and his brother and Vinnette Carroll's "Your Arms Too Short To Box With God" and Alvin Ailey and on and on. BASSETT: (As Mo) ...As long as you're not a basic [expletive]. SANDERS: You know, it's interesting talking with the race and representation with you right now. GROSS: We're listening to the interview our guest interviewer, Sam Sanders, recorded with Angela Bassett. I'm here with my son, T'Challa. (Getty Images) Angela Bassett won the Golden Globe for Best Actress award for … BASSETT: Absolutely, my mother was. I choose not to because, you know, that was such a moment right then. You know, and I was - my first love was theater. UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) What? And, you know, and it was something different. But if I could make people cry to this depth, you know, be so moved, how wonderful that would be. So I went home and just jumped, you know, and pursued as much as I could in my little bitty town with not many opportunities on stage. BASSETT: You know, I might be feeling a certain way about myself now today. And what's even more important is that we're good with one another. Cameron Scheetz. BASSETT: Yeah, it soars, and I know he's watching me. Trust me, Katy. And I realized - as I'm, like, literally scrolling through Angela Bassett's IMDB, I'm like, at this point, you've done it all. And I just remember sitting at the Kennedy Center and seeing James Earl Jones in "Of Mice And Men," which I've seen many, many times. So what are you going to do - I don't know - shoot me? Both in front of the camera and behind the camera - opportunity. And those were the roles coming - you know, coming through New York, you know. Angela Bassett werd geboren in New York, waarna ze als kind verhuisde naar Saint Petersburg in Florida.Angela en haar zus D'nette werden opgevoed door hun moeder Betty. And then, when they get to about 14, and they think that, mom, that's a stereotype or you're - that's so race - or they think that you're wrong about it, about what goes on in the world. I think I did a prostitute. Copyright © 2020 NPR. (SOUNDBITE OF DAVE BRUBECK'S "SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN"). And I'm sitting in front one of them, who's a producer, and they choose me, you know, of all the girls in the world. I've not seen a Black woman, you know, leading a band playing sax. BASSETT: Yeah, it does. UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Hmm. BASSETT: You can't help but dream, desire to be excellent. SANDERS: It's funny. The DVD disc: "What's Love Got To Do With It" is a beautiful 118 minute studio reenactment of the ups and downs with in and out experiences which led to the actual start --then, finally, the fascinating career success of a famous R&B vocalist: Tina Turner (Angela Bassett) and the abusive she lived with Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne). SANDERS: Well, that'll sell anyone on theater. I enjoyed that as well. And now - you know, as has been said sometimes, and we got to overcorrect, you know. You're writing poems and short stories. SANDERS: What do you say when that happens? You're about to leave Joe Jackson, and then you're like... BASSETT: I don't want you. ", (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICAN HORROR STORY"). So not a lot of - and commercials. Equally adept at stage, screen, and television--and scorchingly hot wherever she goes--Angela Bassett honed her considerable acting chops in productions at Yale School of Drama, where the brainiac beauty earned an MFA.Angela made her film debut in the cult favorite F/X (1986) and broke through to critical (and horndog) acclaim in John Singleton's Boyz N the Hood (1991). It's a pleasure. And between the two, maybe we covered the whole (laughter) lay of the land. It was a time where maybe there were two shows going on, "The Cosby Show" and "The Equalizer." Just turn on the news, and you have Breonna and George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. And so I would be mesmerized watching her explaining what I'm doing. BASSETT: But it was like, OK, that's about as far as I can take this, you know (laughter), this sort of thing because I always grew up with that sense of - you know, of dignity and pride, I think, you know, not having much, being raised by a single mother and not having much in terms of resources. This is FRESH AIR. It's more - it might be more - you know, it's more open. Sam is the host of the NPR show It's Been a Minute. GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. They said there're white and Black. And earlier in your career, more so than now, there was this pressure to outperform, overperform, be better than because you're Black, because you're a Black woman. They give you something. We can give you so much kings and queens. SANDERS: In terms of progress on some of the stuff and some of the portrayals of women, of people of color, shows like "A Black Lady Sketch Show," do they give you hope or do you think there's still so much further to go? And when you have more awareness, you know, maybe you make different choices. They're not white, they're peach. And he was strong. SANDERS: You know, thinking of this less than idea, not being that, were there any other, I guess, perhaps, quote, unquote, "less than roles" that you saw other Black actors or actresses take that made you feel uneasy? SANDERS: Here we go. And like you said, never having seen this, but I think some of the funniest people I know are Black ladies (laughter). I was thinking about the roles, for sure that one. And she came away, and she's good with hers. Yeah, I get it. I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR. Save. Hopefully, you're responding honestly to what they're giving you. Soul's Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, and Questlove on their favorite Pixar moments. It was nice to see. Angela Bassett Go to IMDb page. BASSETT: I would have to say "What's Love.". - because I just remember it was everywhere when it came out, and it was on TV for years. SANDERS: Wow. Then after that, they're soap operas and, after that, industrial. You know how they do. BASSETT: We were in a support group - Bad Bitch Support Group, right. (Dec. 22) I was like, "Master Of None." She spoke with our guest interviewer Sam Sanders, host of the NPR show It's Been A Minute. This could be Joe Gardner's big break. BASSETT: And what that might have felt like. But we're all here in community together. And then I was looking through, and I was like, oh, I forgot she did that. And you got to be happy in that moment with whichever way the mop flops. She's one of the voices in Pixar's new animated film "Soul." She was absolutely OK because she'd always - you know, it was years, years later that she had a, you know, flair for - she wanted to be a singer, or she wanted - she was - you know, she would sing in church, and you're like, oh, Lord, mother, I mean, do you have to be that dramatic about "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"? The fourth season of 9-1-1 returns to Fox tonight and, like many shows airing now, the procedural drama will infuse the COVID-19 pandemic into the … SANDERS: That role got her an Oscar nomination. These are, you know, television, sitcoms and dramas. And I, you know, endeavored to make them both proud of me. And these are the movie stars, and that's the rarified air up there, and no one crosses any of the boundaries. She played Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, in the film "Malcolm X." It's more, you know - you might - or - but - or you may not have - like, as they've told my husband, no, we don't want to see you that way. What works for them may not works for me. So that's intriguing to me. I think it comes not from one particular space, you know? I wonder - did race play a role in you maybe being siloed early on? And he says, hey, we need some help. SANDERS: Was your family OK with your choice? And also, it was - well, at this time, it was a show that was created by three incredible sisters, you know? It was make believe. I mean, you would listen to her, and you would hear strains of classical music mixed with jazz, mixed with a little lullaby (laughter), you know, of your youth. It's a role in which you don't actually see Angela Bassett at all. You know, it's just your voice. SANDERS: One of the portrayals of yours that made me say recently, oh, that's a different direction for Angela Bassett - who I've been watching and loving for years - your sketch on "A Black Lady Sketch Show.". BASSETT: Yeah. So this movie, it's all about a character named Joe Gardner, this middle school band teacher who really wants to be a professional jazz piano player. BASSETT: It may be you're a nurse on a soap opera. So now you want what you can't (laughter), what you don't have. SANDERS: It has been an honor to talk with you about this and to watch your work in "Soul," a film that I think a lot of folks are going to be enjoying very soon. But at some point, you have to, like "Soul" - here we are (laughter). This is FRESH AIR. And you want to be - you got to be a part of it, or what's living for? All right. I'm a for-real colored girl - you know, brown-skinned girl. BASSETT: If you watch that, you would get me. I'm the moderator of the group, I guess. You must hear that longing and that pathos or that joy or whatever it may be in the voice, in the voice (laughter). This is FRESH AIR. ANDANTE"), GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. The following is a comprehensive list of acting and directing credits for American actress Angela Bassett. BASSETT: Or I obsess about it being a little harder because that's - like, right now, all you have is my voice. BASSETT: Determined, resilient, hard-working, back-backbreaking, emotional - yeah. And they are one of - they could be one of nine kids in their seven, eight in their class. I was like, wait a minute. BASSETT: Yeah. And it's just so tragic. That's who I sort of recalled and imagined in approaching Dorothea. And some of the roles I remember you may be playing - it might be a role of a prostitute. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. Bassett spoke to our guest interviewer, Sam Sanders. And does that energy feel different than what it was, you know, a while back? You know, Halle Berry did that work, got that Oscar. Angela Bassett and Phylicia Rashad talk about portraying black animated women in Soul and what voicing these characters means to them. It comes from family. Was it coming from family saying this to you, from other Black actors saying this to you or just from your own self-awareness? What was it? This movie, "Soul," it was delightful. And it's spoken of not just for the person who took the role but the fact that you did not take it. SANDERS: So let's hear a bit now of that sketch from "Black Lady Sketch Show." Do it with excellence, not just a waste of time, you know. But I was really trying to wail on - let's say I was in the moment. I enjoyed it. If white folks can make "Breaking Bad" and also "The King's Speech," we can do whatever the heck we want. Angela Bassett thought 'Soul' presented her with "some big shoes to fill". But when do you begin to have that? And these were my childhood daydreams and idols, and I have this opportunity. Here's Sam. So I remember how I felt listening to them or going to see Betty Carter and those young musicians looking up at her, and she's leading them. And you sit in theatre and you just came alive. And they would play and play, and they would strain their necks looking at her, hanging on every word. But they were both proud. And I've always known that what work for me may not work for everyone. He was holding my arms.