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Image / Living / Culture

Angela Bassett did the thing, so here’s some of her finest work to watch this weekend


By Sarah Gill
03rd Mar 2023

Marvel Studios

Angela Bassett did the thing, so here’s some of her finest work to watch this weekend

From her historical Oscar nomination to being named among TIME Magazine’s 2023 Women of the Year, Ariana DeBose was right — Angela Bassett really *has* done the thing.

If the phrase ‘Angela Bassett did the thing’ means little to nothing to you, I applaud you for your restraint use of social media over the course of the past two weeks. Of course, I have exercised no such restraint, and will explain it to you in painstaking detail.

Last year’s best-supporting-actress Oscar winner and Tony-nominated musical-theater star Ariana DeBose opened up the BAFTA’s with a number that fused Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves and We Are Family with an original rap that served as a toast to the female acting nominees of the moment.

“Angela Bassett did the thing,” DeBose raps. “Viola Davis, my woman king! Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius. And Jamie Lee, you are all of us!” Naturally, the clip went viral and made people simultaneously shudder with cringe, and bop along joyously.

Breathless rapping aside, DeBose was speaking to a much larger feat when she said ‘Angela Bassett did the thing’. She was of course referring to the actress’ historical achievement of not only being the only Black woman to be nominated in an acting role, but becoming the first actor to be Oscar-nominated for a Marvel movie for her performance as Queen Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

This comes almost three decades after her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Tina Turner in the <i<What’s Love Got to Do With It biopic. This week, Bassett was also named among TIME Magazine’s twelve Women of the Year alongside Cate Blanchett, Phoebe Bridgers and Quinta Brunson.

Taking to Instagram to speak about the honour, Bassett wrote: “For every little Black and brown girl who has a dream, whatever that might be, I hope that my journey over the past three decades shows that all things are possible with hard work, faith, the love of your tribe, and patience.

“The extraordinary thing about being a part of history is that through your accomplishments, you represent the intention and action towards change and the march towards a brighter, more equitable and inclusive future.”

So, with these incredible achievements in mind and hopes of a win at the 95th Academy Awards, we’ve rounded up some of Angela Bassett’s very best work for you to enjoy this weekend…

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Reprising the role of the grieving Queen Ramonda in the Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever, there’s a reason why Bassett earned her Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. An absolute must-see, the film sees Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with Nakia and Everett Ross to forge a new path for their beloved kingdom.

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Adapted from Tina Turner’s 1986 autobiography I, Tina, the film sees Angela Bassett take on the role of this music icon with such power that she was nominated for Best Actress at the 66th Academy Awards for her performance. What’s Love Got To Do With It tracks Turner’s life from a rural upbringing to her rise to stardom, along with her abusive marriage to Ike.

The Rosa Parks Story

A woman adept at taking on the weighted stories of history-making Black women with relative ease, Bassett embodies activist, and ‘the mother of the freedom movement’ Rosa Parks in this biopic. From her days as a private-school student to her public battle against racism and segregation, this film tracks Parks’ life, from defending local children who have been victimized by racism to her arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat for a white passenger.

Malcolm X

Directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington in the titular role, Malcolm X is a biographical epic that pays tribute to the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam, and his 1965 assassination that left a lasting legacy of racial pride. Bassett plays the role of Betty Shabazz, a nurse and NOI activist who marries Malcolm.

Whitney

Starring Yaya DaCosta in the role of the spectacular Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett dons her director’s hat for this biographical film that follows the I Wanna Dance with Somebody singer, actress, producer and model’s headline-making relationship with fellow entertainer Bobby Brown.