Angela Bassett She made Marvel history Tuesday morning by becoming the first star (and woman of color) to be nominated for an Oscar in a comic book adaptation of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. She’s been nominated before — she was the lead actress three decades ago for the Tina Turner biopic “What’s Love Got to Do It” — but said she was humbled and grateful to be recognized for her supporting role.Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
“I’m really excited about it because I know it’s been 30 years,” Bassett said. “So it’s not easy to land in these five favorite spots.”
Throughout the season, Bassett has been honored for her work in the film: She won a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress earlier this month. NAACP Image AwardA Screen Actors Guild Award and A BAFTA Award.
Queen Ramonda, after the death of her son, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), becomes the sovereign ruler of the Kingdom of Wakanda, tasked with protecting the Afrofuturist nation from external threats from its neighbors. Underwater country TaloganLed by the angel Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía).
While the comic-book adaptation didn’t earn a best picture nomination like 2018’s “Black Panther,” it earned nods in the costume design, makeup and hairstyling, original song and visual effects categories.
In a video interview from her Los Angeles home, Bassett discussed mourning Chadwick Boseman’s death, her own character’s death, and her joy at being nominated for her second Oscar. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.
Where were you when you heard about the nominations?
You know Super Tuesday is coming. So I set the alarm for 5:25am, went downstairs at 11pm and woke up on my own at 3:45am, tried and tried to go back to sleep and couldn’t. The spigot turned on the adrenaline and flooded me.
When you can’t sleep, you have to get out of bed and walk around in the dark. So I said, “But what time is it?” and looked at the clock. 5:25 am [a few minutes before the nominations would be announced on the West Coast]. I tried to turn on the television and I couldn’t find it. I thought I was going to lose it. I can’t figure out how to turn on my television. But finally I did, and when it started, I was like, “Oh, my God, first class!” I’m glad I arrived on time.
The film has undeniably feminist energy, from the moments you refer to the nation of Wakanda with “she” pronouns to the introduction of female prodigy Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne. How does this film empower young black women?
I am very proud to have directed this film centered around black women. It’s not the first time for me, it’s just like “waiting to get out”. , It was the first and led by four black women. I think I’ve been in this position before. So I’m comfortable with it, I’m thrilled with it, and I hope it teaches black women that we win. We can win.
The film and its creative team lost Chadwick Boseman, the leader of Wakanda, succumbed to cancer in 2020. How did you cope with his death and translate your grief on screen? What would Chadwick think of the film?
I handled it with so much pride and love and respect for who he was and who he was. It’s not a moment of falling down, but it’s about using that love, all the emotions we felt for him, all those memories of him, and putting it to work and building it. , special as he is. It is nothing less than what He would have done for us, what He would have wanted.
Your character sinks during an attack led by Namor. What was it like filming that scene?
At that scene, luckily, the water was warm. The girls were there, Lupita [Nyong’o]Danes [Gurira]. I was ready for that day, and of course, you knew it would come. It wasn’t as sad as the day I thought it was going to be. Of course.
Looking back at your lifelong acting career, how do you feel about this being your second nomination?
I’m ecstatic about it, but there’s also a part of me that wants to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, on terra firma, on earth. It’s a journey of hard work, great opportunity. Saying yes to things that excite you about work and individuals will always be the same.
These awards are a wonderful gift from your peers in your community, which is definitely the pinnacle of it. But I know I’m grateful that I still get to wake up this morning, get in my car, and drive myself to the set. Today at work with my colleagues. So, I can’t sit around Heaven all day.