After a recent sit down with TIME magazine, Tina Turner expressed her gratitude for Angela Bassett’s portrayal of her in her famous biopic, What’s Love Got To Do With It. The film followed the journey of Turner and her late ex-husband, Ike Turner, throughout the trials in their relationship, along with her emerging music career.
“I was a little bit skeptical when work began on the 1993 film. First of all, who are they going to find to sing, dance, and act like me? Then, I looked up, saw Angela, and immediately started to smile,” Turner explained when telling her story to TIME.
Many believed Bassett’s portrayal was so good that she deserved more accolades. Some think she should’ve received an Oscar for her performance after she was nominated in 1994 for the movie’s release. These feelings resurfaced again after Bassett lost to Jamie Lee Curtis for “Best Supporting Actress” at the 2023 Oscars, making her the first person nominated for the Marvel series. Fans began rallying behind the renowned actress with support and reassurance across social media.
Angela Bassett’s excellence is undeniable. But a reminder of the mentality she was up against in trying to win an Academy Award. Of course, not all voters think this way, but I’m guessing this isn’t the only voter that has these kind of views. pic.twitter.com/MFY5aQ7Ntx
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) March 13, 2023
— Brandon Brown. (@HolUpBigBaby) March 13, 2023
Actors Jonathan Majors and Michael B. Jordan even took the opportunity to celebrate Bassett despite her loss during the award ceremony after the results were announced. “Hey, auntie,” Jordan said as a reference during their time on screen in Marvel’s Black Panther in 2018.
Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever received over $859 million at the box office making. In playing Prince T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda, Bassett was able to bring a new sense of vulnerability to the screen as a grieving widow and mother while having to hold the mantle of leadership. Basset’s participation in the film helped to add to her wide range of background in acting.
After being introduced to the theater during high school, Basset began falling in love with the thought of acting. Her experience dates back to 1984 through stage plays before officially making it to our television screens in 1985, doing minor roles and other guest appearances. After building a rapport, Bassett landed her first significant movie role in Boyz N the Hood in 1991, starring opposite Laurence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Following this, she also played ‘Betty Shabazz’ who was the wife of Civil Rights Activist Malcolm X in the hit movie, Malcolm X.
In each of these roles, Bassett could express more of her creativity and make the characters come to life right before our eyes. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she said her thoughts on her career outlook and the success she has gathered over the years. “It’s amazing because it’s been decades of a career, and to remain, to be able to do it, to persevere at a high level and for it to be appreciated, to receive so much love and support from audiences from my community, from around the world is — oh my gosh, I only wish my mother could see it, to be here to witness it.”
Her most influential role was none other than ‘Tina Turner’ in What’s Love Got To Do With It, which earned her a Golden Globe in 1994. Receiving this award made Angela Bassett the first African American with this accomplishment. Since this time, she has received numerous awards from many organizations, including the NAACP, Critic’s Choice, Glamour, and the Screen Actors Guild.
Today, Bassett has been named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2023. On-screen, she can be found playing ‘Athena Grant’ in FOX’s daytime series, 9-1-1. In playing this role, Bassett is now recognized as one of the highest-paid female actors of color in network television by making over $400,000 per episode, according to Deadline. Her courage to strive for more has the potential to also open the door for future diverse actresses from future generations.
Sherdell Baker is a senior journalism major student at Hampton University. She seeks to bring the quintessential views of contemporary college culture to the masses. Check out more from her here.