Yeah, a chip off the old block. QUESTLOVE: (As Curley) Joe is Ray Gardner's (ph) son. Bassett plays world-renowned jazz saxophonist Dorothea Williams in Disney/Pixar's latest animated film. 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. They're not white, they're peach. You look at me, there's (laughter) no denying I'm a colored girl. You're writing in your diary. BASSETT: And the sketch is called Angela Bassett Is The Baddest Bitch (laughter), you know? 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. But then you get an opportunity to do television, and then you want to do more. And she didn't seem burdened by the pressures of having bald eyes. BASSETT: Absolutely, my mother was. Would the Angela Bassett of today turn it down now? But you just want opportunity. Hollywood actress Angela Bassett feels it is important to have people of colour in the world of animated stories, because it is important for the young generation to know that there is a … These are, you know, musical theater actors. And, of course, then you want to do film. But we all make our choices based on who we are in the moment. Angela Bassett will reprise her role as Erika Sloane in the forthcoming Mission: Impossible 7. It's a pleasure. And the idea and the concept of a Black woman being revered by her children and respected is an idea that I think deserves to live on screen and in this world and in spirit. Let's get back to the interview our guest interviewer Sam Sanders recorded with Angela Bassett. I mean, the world started showing its face, you know? I was like, "Master Of None." They give you something. And these were my childhood daydreams and idols, and I have this opportunity. So even then, they're getting little messages. BASSETT: Yeah. And so I would be mesmerized watching her explaining what I'm doing. But yeah, it's different for them because we live in this little hamlet. But when do you begin to have that? So I - you know, I had both, you know, brain and heart working. Yeah. And here I am, working, an actor who wants to work. I just say as long as it's done with excellence (laughter), you know. They've got 'Soul': Phylicia Rashad and Angela Bassett discuss the strong connection to their characters Comments Off Share Article Courtesy of Pixar (NEW YORK) -- Phylicia Rashad felt right at home when she took on the maternal role of Libba Gardner in the Pixar animated film Soul . 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. 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. (SOUNDBITE OF CONCENTUS HUNGARICUS PERFORMANCE OF JENO JANDO'S "PIANO CONCERTO NO. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. But you got to live in that moment. SANDERS: Hearing you talk about this idea of, you know, the roles need to be about something, say something and, you know, this - back to this idea of dignity and, like, is this helping or hurting - you know, in some parts of the culture, I see a shift. But I got to tell you I stopped counting how many times I have watched you in the Jackson family TV miniseries because you did that (laughter). She could've been a bad [expletive] with alopecia. This is amazing. But I was really trying to wail on - let's say I was in the moment. Angela Bassett thought 'Soul' presented her with "some big shoes to fill". Angela Bassett attends the Elie Saab show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on February 29, 2020 in Paris, France. We get to be as messy as the white creatives, as rough around the edges as they are. (SOUNDBITE OF DAVE BRUBECK'S "SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN"). And it would just blow your mind. And I see in the zeitgeist right now a lot of creatives of color saying, I don't care if it's dignified. Angela Bassett, Orlando Bloom and Gal Gadot Among the Celebrity Presenters for the 14th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. BASSETT: Because there was all this stuff in the tabloids about Michael. I enjoyed it. I'm crying because they shot him. 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? Also available on the nbc app. And if that was good for you and that was good for her, we're good, you know? But they were both proud. You know how they do. And I remember just saying, I'm not playing him. Or did it just work out that way? You know, Halle Berry did that work, got that Oscar. DENNIS: (As Mya) She seemed fine being an OK [expletive]. BASSETT: (As Mo) ...As long as you're not a basic [expletive]. We talked briefly about how there was a time when society saw all of us as three-fifths and that was still around. "Soul" will be released on Disney+ Christmas Day. ANGELA BASSETT: (As Tina) I've got a room full of people who've come to see me - you hear me, Ike? 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 … This is FRESH AIR. GROSS: Angela Bassett is one of the voices in the new Pixar animated film "Soul." It's about the look and the draw, you know, and drawing your man in. Why did you think you got that message? THEDE: (As Tina) Oh, this [expletive] done lost her mind. 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. And your five-year-old has to take up for his sister. I feel so much. Trust me, Katy. BASSETT: Yeah, it does. She spoke with our guest interviewer Sam Sanders, host of the NPR show It's Been A Minute. Nov 11, 2020. Like, I remembered, oh, "American Horror Story." I'm wondering, you know, it's obviously going to be different for your children growing up Black in this country than it was for you. In kindergarten, where they come home and say, they wouldn't let her play with them because they said she didn't look like the mother because of her skin, you know? DENNIS: (As Mya) No. LAVERNE COX: (As Kiana) How you know she was a OK [expletive]? Updated Dec 19, 2020 ‘Killing Eve’ star Jodie Comer has admitted she is “very much” in love. BASSETT: I would have to say "What's Love.". Angela Bassett Draws On Her Love Of Drama And Music In Pixar's 'Soul' Bassett plays world-renowned jazz saxophonist Dorothea Williams in … Do you feel that? BASSETT: I think, you know, when you're - during those years of maturation when you're about 14, 15 or whatever, your little girl - your hormones are going crazy. You see it all around you. And the movie is all about whether or not Joe gets that big break. SANDERS: That's what I was going to ask - OK. That's what I was going to ask you, because I know you've talked about not taking some roles. She dropped them, oh - you know? You know, and I was - my first love was theater. And you got to be happy in that moment with whichever way the mop flops. Do it with excellence, not just a waste of time, you know. That's just the way that I've seen it, you know? Like, who do you talk to when you're recording this? It was, like, a scene or two. And "Antigone," you know - so I'm getting opportunity to play Antigone in a Greek tragedy. And I remember thinking, oh, if I could make people feel as bad as I feel right now. Can you fill in? Share, rate and discuss pictures of Angela Bassett's feet on wikiFeet - the most comprehensive celebrity feet database to ever have existed. We're - you know, we've got - we take care of ourselves. But, I mean, there is a desire in me to not be boxed in, you know, to not be underestimated. Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad and Tina Fey discuss how ‘Soul’ reignited life December 27, 2020 v: Chef Claudy Pierre discusses importance of soup joumou, feeding his community Emmy®, … Blacklist user … And when you have more awareness, you know, maybe you make different choices. And some of the roles I remember you may be playing - it might be a role of a prostitute. SANDERS: So that was Angela Bassett playing Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson family in the TV miniseries "The Jacksons: An American Dream." 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). 'Soul' Stars Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett, And More Share Favorite Life Lessons From Pixar Film. 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. It features Robin Thede and Laverne Cox as other members of the group. 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? (Dec. 22) SANDERS: Can I get specific, then, on this idea of roles you wouldn't take or would take? 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: I literally remember saying that - if I could make people feel as bad as I feel right now. 1. This film also occurs in multiple dimensions. BASSETT: Yeah. And... SANDERS: (Laughter) The ringleader, even. And, you know, from week to week, you get, you know, weekly series or a guest spot. Can you set up this sketch for our listeners? You had performance in the bloodline, OK. BASSETT: Yes, I get it. And it elicits something else, you know. But I think there was a time when I was coming up we couldn't - coming through and before me even, where we couldn't afford to be less than because we were - you know, we were considered, we were told, we were - it was written, you know (laughter) - it was written that we were less than, that we were three-fifths. She talks about that role, as well as the challenges she's faced as a Black woman in Hollywood. But it's generally just a reader or the director. BASSETT: You know, I might be feeling a certain way about myself now today. Well, the family's just my mother and sister. So it definitely gives me hope. SANDERS: Well, that'll sell anyone on theater. You feel that coming. He is introducing Joe, who is played by Jamie Foxx. - come to see me. And isn't the goal of all of this to allow Black women to choose their path and do what's good for them? You did that. If white folks can make "Breaking Bad" and also "The King's Speech," we can do whatever the heck we want. 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.". And everyone has up and left, and I am literally, with whomever I'm with, the last - the only (laughter) person in this theater, and I am weeping for - I'm just crying. It was - I mean, I grew up loving The Jackson 5, you know, daydreaming, just loving each and every one of them, my first concert I ever saw. GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Angela Bassett Go to IMDb page. So, you know, I was in my own insular community. And you look up, and you'll find it on VH1 - something or another. So let me go there. So yeah, you do have to have a conversation. SANDERS: What do you say when that happens? I don't want you. We have to. SANDERS: So you had the performance in you. Let's get back to the interview our guest interviewer Sam Sanders recorded with Angela Bassett. But I think we should be. It was a time where maybe there were two shows going on, "The Cosby Show" and "The Equalizer." Biography. And, you know, you feel that already here. BASSETT: Or I obsess about it being a little harder because that's - like, right now, all you have is my voice. Just turn on the news, and you have Breonna and George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. He was not letting me. Here it is a sketch show. She's like - she's getting them on point - no, you got to come up here, come up here, come up here. It's so alive. I'm Terry Gross. Like, was your family like, OK, she's going to be an actress? And I don't want you. Was it coming from family saying this to you, from other Black actors saying this to you or just from your own self-awareness? And you probably saw her in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther"... BASSETT: (As Ramonda) I call upon the ancestors. It was, you know, a theater town, that sort of thing - and off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway and off-Broadway no-pay showcase, you know (laughter), shows that you were able to do or you're doing. We'll be right back after a short break. What works for them may not works for me. So now you want what you can't (laughter), what you don't have. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information. ", (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICAN HORROR STORY"). BASSETT: It has never been the other actor (laughter), which is strange. It's so real. This is FRESH AIR. GROSS: We're listening to the interview that our guest interviewer Sam Sanders recorded with Angela Bassett. BASSETT: Yeah, in Florida. It's by John Batiste, who wrote, arranged and performed original jazz compositions for the film. We've had sketch shows for decades and decades. They give you something different. BASSETT: We were in a support group - Bad Bitch Support Group, right. Ahmir Questlove Thompson plays the drummer. So we're a certain type of woman. No, we have to give you kings and queens. BASSETT: Oh, yeah. SANDERS: It's so good. And, of course, then I had the - you know, the auntie who was the - you know, the Ph.D., Doctor Bassett wall of the family, who was the practical one, you know. I don't want you. BASSETT: Yeah. Accuracy and availability may vary. I'm Terry Gross. Yes. SANDERS: Do you still hear from folks about that? 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. And with apologies to the writers and to you and to everyone else in this clip, we have to bleep the Bs for broadcast. It starts streaming on Disney+ Christmas Day. JAMIE FOXX: (As Joe) Call me Joe, Dorothea - I mean, Ms. Williams. But first, here's music from the soundtrack for "Soul." It starts streaming on Disney+ Christmas Day. And I go to - and he was - and I was actually trying to just, you know, beat him down. And you make those decisions based on all the - you know, on the knowledge and awareness that you have at the time. So that's intriguing to me. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. 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. And like you said, never having seen this, but I think some of the funniest people I know are Black ladies (laughter). So what are you going to do - I don't know - shoot me? They'd go back to California, cast someone who was there. SANDERS: And you can say watching like eight times over again to really get that effect. Yes, she did that, too. I love that, that callback. Actor Films. She plays a world-renowned jazz saxophonist, Dorothea Williams, in "Soul," Disney and Pixar's latest animated film. It was nice to see. I don't want you no more (crying). You know, the whole time, we were - yeah. 12/22/20 8:30AM. SANDERS: And I also guess that when you're recording stuff for this kind of animated film, you're talking these lines and no one's on the other side of you. I'd never been asked to do a sketch show before, so that was intriguing to me. Yeah. BASSETT: Thank you, appreciate speaking with you. And you sit in theatre and you just came alive. You're writing poems and short stories. BASSETT: Yeah. I choose not to because, you know, that was such a moment right then. And they would play and play, and they would strain their necks looking at her, hanging on every word. BASSETT: If you watch that, you would get me. So it's various elements that are drawing me. Thanks for having me. UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Hmm. It's more like - you know, it's more like - it was more like street theater. So let's hear a bit of that scene that we're talking about, you as Katherine Jackson in this TV miniseries, "The Jacksons: An American Dream. You have to bring it along slowly. I'm the moderator of the group, I guess. And were creatives of color more likely to help you get out of those silos? 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. SANDERS: ...Or in several roles on Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story. And then you go to your theater and Negro Ensemble Company or whatever. She's one of the voices in the new Disney and Pixar animated film "Soul.". But as times change, you know, and roles come and go and opportunities, I've been able to say yes to various things that, I guess, have, you know, freed me from that, you know, from... BASSETT: The tightest constraints of being only this are only that. And these are the movie stars, and that's the rarified air up there, and no one crosses any of the boundaries. SANDERS: You know, I was prepping for this interview, watching this film and then going over all the other work you've done. It's the only one we got. BASSETT: (As Katherine Jackson) Joe Jackson, you're a liar, and you're a cheat. You're talking about "Monster's Ball"... SANDERS: Who we love. And it was wonderful to have opportunities with young directors maybe who didn't - they didn't look at it like that. Things that I may - you know, maybe I wouldn't have played the prostitute then, but I might play her today (laughter). And they're saying, they're what? The following is a comprehensive list of acting and directing credits for American actress Angela Bassett. And you don't have the other distractions, you know, the physicality, the facial expressions, you know, the others. And, you know - but - and you just hope that they don't turn you loose until they've got what they absolutely came looking for. UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) What? BASSETT: You know what? We can - you know, we can make it better. (Getty Images) Angela Bassett won the Golden Globe for Best Actress award for … And he's killed his - the little mouse and all of that. The following is a comprehensive list of acting and directing credits for American actress Angela Bassett. 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. This could be Joe Gardner's big break. SANDERS: Angela Bassett, thank you so much for your time here on FRESH AIR. I'm thinking right now specifically of John Singleton, you know, and "Boyz N The Hood," where I had come to LA from New York, you know - not much television. That's true. BASSETT: It - I think I have to say it just worked out that way (laughter). You're about to leave Joe Jackson, and then you're like... BASSETT: I don't want you. SANDERS: That role got her an Oscar nomination. And it's just so tragic. BASSETT: I thought so, too. And it was a choice that I made. BASSETT: I probably would have done that sketch. It's more - it might be more - you know, it's more open. ANDANTE"), GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. And so now you're known for doing guest spots. SANDERS: And I was like, I wouldn't have expected to see Angela Bassett doing this. ", (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JACKSONS: AN AMERICAN DREAM"). And I was - you know, and I find - you know, he's on the phone, and I catch him talking to somebody he shouldn't be talking to. I enjoyed that as well. I mean, like, how did you - who did you channel? Courtesy of Pixar Phylicia Rashad felt right at home when she took on the maternal role of Libba Gardner in the Pixar animated film Soul.. Rashad, who fans recall as the no-nonsense mother Claire Huxtable on the '80s sitcom The Cosby Show, says it was easy to become the overbearing mother of Libba, because she had plenty of experience. It's a commentary on standards of beauty for Black women. 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. I think I did a prostitute. I could tell by her wedges. I mean, I choose not to. 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: Yeah. You can't just look at my face and see that I'm sad. You love seeing it all around you. It's never, you know - it's never the - hopefully, it's never the same. That's who I sort of recalled and imagined in approaching Dorothea. Get on up here, Teach. So they sent me on the audition, and, of course, I got a callback and another. And he says, hey, we need some help. 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. He was not. You're trying to express yourself. I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR. But first, we're going to talk about her latest role. Because in theatre, you either reach the back of the theater and they believe you take them on that journey or they don't. I could go on. They only do commercials. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW”). Angela Bassett and Phylicia Rashad on 'Soul' and Remembering Chadwick Boseman (Exclusive) By John Boone‍ 10:00 AM PST, December 21, 2020 Entertainment Tonight It's awesome. I literally see you on every page I look at. BASSETT: It may be you're a nurse on a soap opera. And between the two, maybe we covered the whole (laughter) lay of the land. But that ain't you, sis. Part of it's - I'm like, how was I taught race as a kid? BASSETT: And what that might have felt like. And, you know, and it was something different. Angela Bassett spoke with our guest interviewer, Sam Sanders, who hosts the NPR show It's Been A Minute. So I can't give you three-fifths when you're telling me - you know, you're trying to make me believe that. SANDERS: We will talk about some of those performances in a bit and the arc of Angela Bassett's career as a Black woman in an industry not always friendly to Black women. SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: Angela Bassett is definitely an actress that you've seen a lot before. I, like, pulled my hair in front of my face. No (laughter), you know. This movie, "Soul," it was delightful. You're right. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Toy Story, Pixar’s first feature-length film, and the animation house has been one of Hollywood’s most consistent hit-makers ever since. SANDERS: Here we go. SANDERS: You know, it's interesting talking with the race and representation with you right now. BASSETT: Yeah, the ringleader. After we take a short break, rock critic Ken Tucker will review Christmas music that fits the mood this COVID Christmas. 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). She's one of the voices in Pixar's new animated film "Soul." It starts streaming on Disney+ Christmas Day. It's been a delight. But, you know, you have a pride in how you do things and what you say yes to doing. But roles would - new roles would come along. 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. Sam hosts the NPR show It's Been A Minute. They shot him, you know, when he's - you know, he's killed the woman and he's - you know, his - all mental not there. She received an Oscar nomination for playing Tina Turner in the 1993 film "What's Love Got To Do With It." And we can - hopefully, we can right this world. SANDERS: Was your family OK with your choice? GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I think it comes not from one particular space, you know? You know, a limited kind of opportunity. Yeah, that's who you want to - that's who, you know, you feed off, you live off of, you respond to. Video Interview 2020. And he was strong. But we're all here in community together. ROBIN THEDE: (As Tina) Oh, I've seen those. BASSETT: You can't help but dream, desire to be excellent. SANDERS: I find it interesting to hear you say that John Singleton helped you start to get out of those silos. And does that energy feel different than what it was, you know, a while back? But your friend, who started auditioning for film, never gets guest spots on television, but always gets film. But it has to paint. I've not seen a Black woman, you know, leading a band playing sax. You wouldn't get the role. Best of 2020: Our Favorite Adaptations BY David Rapp • Dec. 28, 2020 ... Oprah Winfrey, and Angela Bassett, read and perform Coates’ words; the author himself makes an appearance toward the end. We grow in our own time and place and space. She played Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, in the film "Malcolm X." Sam is the host of the NPR show It's Been a Minute. It was a wonderful experience. But you don't want to just really smash their vulnerability and their innocence. Save. It's seeing your father's sister, you know, work at a university and go every summer and take a couple of courses to work on her master's to continue to do that until she gets her Ph.D. - and that may take, you know, eight to 10 years - and then, you know, rise to become the chairman of the department and the chairman of the school - you know, acting chairman of the school, an interim chairman. It seemed more observation or - and also, I mean, I wasn't bused to the other side of town until seventh grade. No, I don't want you. I don't care if it's uplifting. I remember being so shamed. We can give you so much kings and queens. It comes from seeing your mother get up early and go and work two jobs to support two kids. AMARA LA NEGRA: (As Sydney) That's what it was. - because I just remember it was everywhere when it came out, and it was on TV for years. Are you teaching them things different about race than the way race was taught to you when you were a kid? BASSETT: Follow your passion. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. BASSETT: (As Marie) She needed the help of a powerful voodoo queen (laughter). And also, it was - well, at this time, it was a show that was created by three incredible sisters, you know? Right, we have to give you kings and queens. 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. I don't want you. BASSETT: It definitely gives me hope. 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.