All Articles Tagged "Angela Bassett"
Just because a whole lot of people of color weren’t nominated for Academy Awards this year, it certainly didn’t stop the party.
Every year, for the past six years, Alfre Woodard hosts the Oscars’s Sistah Soiree. And the name tells it all. Woodard invites Black actresses to gather together and celebrate their accomplishments throughout the years.
Variety reports that she started hosting this party because she was tired of feeling like there was so much competition and animosity between Black actresses.
During the cocktail party before the dinner, held at the Beverly Hills Wilshire, Woodard said: “Every time we hear each others’ names, it felt like it was on of our reps going, ‘If that b-tch turns it down, then you can have it! I was like, wait a minute. When I hear my sister’s names, I want to have a joyful feeling in my heart about it.”
During the party, sponsored by Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds Lustre fragrance, Woodard struggled to find a quiet space to complete the interview.
“You see how loud it gets! It’s always like this, because all the women in this room have more in common with each other than anyone else in the professional world. We’ve all been on the same journey- we speak a common language.”
While I’m sure quite a few of us would have loved to be in that room, the invitees can’t even bring their significant others to the party. “From the first time, everyone just fell into each others’ arms. it was immediate bonding.”
The idea to host the gathering had been on her mind for years but 2009 just so happened to be the year both Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson were nominated for Doubt and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But she didn’t just want to honor the nominees.
“It’s to honor the women who are nominated and the women who, in a perfect world, should have been. I wasn’t going to have a gathering of women actors and not have CCH Pounder or Lorraine Toussaint here!”
The event also serves as a means to show support.
“We know the ones nominated will be out and (are) being celebrated. But when they’re on the carpet, when they’re walking onstage, there are people like them wishing them well. The women who know exactly what you’re doing, actors of quality, saying good on you. We got your back.”
British actresses Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Carmen Ejogo, who plays Coretta in Selma, shared a moment Ejogo was a support for Mbatha-Raw when she first moved to the United States for the short-lived television show “Undercovers.” Mbatha-Raw recalled feeling lost.
“I actually asked Carmen for advice.”
And Ejogo responded, “You clearly found your way, babe.”
Later, Ejogo for continued, expounding on her excitement for Mbatha-Raw and explaining how event like this “remind you we’re all in this together and we have to support each other. I feel like I’m celebrating everyone. It’s a wonderful moment.”
I cannot tell you how much I love these images!
An interesting element to Lifetime’s Whitney, which the storyline didn’t delve into too deeply, was the legendary singer’s relationship with lifelong friend Robyn Crawford. For years, there has been speculation that the two were a little more than friends. When addressed with questions about the nature of Crawford and Houston’s relationship, Whitney executive producer Angela Bassett insisted that she’s just as clueless about it as we are; however, she broached the subject with subtlety in the film, as the speculation was also part of the singer’s story.
“There always has been [rumors] and they still persist and I don’t know,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “But, there was always the speculation, so my thing was, let it remain. But it’d be however the audience sees it. If they read into it, that’s what they read into [regarding] their life – two women who are close and love each other and support one another.”
“I think what they had between them is a real, honest and fierce affection and caring for one another,” Bassett continued. “May we all have a friend who will fight for us.”
Apparently, she also wasn’t too interested in delving into Houston and Crawford’s relationship because the singer’s sexuality didn’t have much to do with the story that the production team sought to convey.
“[Whitney’s sexuality] really wasn’t that important,” Bassett said. “What was important to me was, they were good friends and they really cared about one another, and that’s a good thing. Now, whatever else you wanna read or tell or say–it’s good, it’s bad– it’s what you put on it.”
Interestingly, she shared that she’s no stranger to lesbian rumors, herself.
“Listen, it’s been said of me. I moved to LA and lived with a friend of mine who was an actress — I didn’t wanna live alone in this big town!” she laughed. “Then after a while there was speculation, and it was like, ‘Lord, let me get my own place!'”
Did the interactions between the twosome catch your attention while you were watching Whitney?
News that Lifetime and Angela Bassett would be collaborating on a biographical film about Whitney Houston was met with plenty of criticism and adversity. Considering that Angela knew the late singer personally, it had to be a pretty tough situation, especially since Whitney’s family was also against the project. Despite everything that was working against the actress-turned-executive-producer and her production team, Angela says that she eventually received a sign that told her she had Whitney’s blessing to move forward.
“Driving to work to the production office about 4-5 weeks before we started filming….we’re trying to get everything together with everyone who’s going to be filming with you,” the beauty explained during an appearance on “Live with Kelly and Michael.” “So I’m driving off the exit and her song immediately comes on. It comes on every day on the radio but it comes on at the exit. Traffic slows down and I see this huge bus passes by and on the back of it, I see this huge writing saying ‘WH’ and it’s in her favorite color, which is purple, which I read in her mother’s book. With her music playing, I see her initials, in her favorite color. I have trepidation, how will this play out in the end.”
Angela went on to say that the revelation made her quite emotional.
“We all have great hopes in the beginning. I just started crying–I’m glad I was at the exit because I couldn’t see–I was laughing like, ‘Okay girl, I hear you, I feel you, thank you, I know it’s going to be okay and it’s going to work out.’”
During another appearance on “Good Morning America,” Angela also opened up about how the time that she spent with the late singer on the set of Waiting to Exhale prepared her to take on this project.
“I was fortunate to be able to work with Whitney on ‘Waiting to Exhale’ and before I met her I was enthralled by her, by her gift, by her talent, but to work with her, be able to tell her that… to be able to observe her, work around her, observe her generosity, her regularness, her joy, her easy laughter…I thought that maybe that moment just prepared me or gave me insight to be able to tell part of her story.”
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“She Was Good To Me And I Tried To Be Good To Her.” Angela Bassett Talks Directing The “Whitney” Biopic
It seems like we’ve been waiting for quite some time for the Whitney Houston biopic to air. We have just about a week to go. And in anticipation of the biopic’s premiere, we spoke with the film’s director and Houston’s ‘Waiting to Exhale’ co-star, Angela Bassett. During our conversation, Bassett spoke passionately about everything, including what she learned working with Houston, not having the family’s support, why she felt this was the right story to tell and Whitney’s overall greatness.
How did you get involved with this project?
The executive producer Larry Sanitsky– we had done Betty and Coretta –we were having lunch and you finally get to ‘What are you working on?’ And he told me he was working on Whitney and looking for a director. And [asked] did I have any suggestions for him. And I was so excited about that. I remember two years previous, I was just disgusted to hear that they were discussing making a movie about her because she had just passed and it was just so heartbreaking. And I remember thinking, ‘Please, please. We just need time, time, time. I know we tell stories in Hollywood but you need time to get there.
So with the passage of two years I said, ‘I know someone will tell a beautiful story about this wonderful girl and I wish I could direct it. But I haven’t directed anything and, as you say, a lot of music is involved and that would be a big thing. That must be like shooting a sports movie, like shooting a concert. And so I tried to come up with some names for him later but he heard just the wishful phrase, “I wish I could direct it.” And I didn’t think he would do anything with that. That wasn’t my intention. Then he went away, did what he had to do, came back, called me. And I thought he was calling to say he’d found a director or did I want to go to this art dinner show and he said, “Would you be interested in directing it because you can. You wanna do it?”
From the moment that everyone heard about Lifetime’s plans to make a movie on Whitney Houston’s life, it has been well-known that Cissy Houston, Bobbi Kristina, and most of Whitney’s family, haven’t been enthused about the idea — even if Angela Bassett is at the helm. Last summer, Cissy Houston spoke out against it:
“In the two years since Whitney’s death [in 2012], many people have stepped forward to speak about their close relationship with her. I find it difficult to believe people who knew and supposedly loved her would participate in a movie about her done by folks who didn’t know her. We are exhausted by the continuing misinformation and comments offered by people who did not know her. Please please let her rest.”
But despite such strong opinions against the movie from Cissy (and you know Bobbi Kristina acted a fool about the whole thing), Bassett still tried to reach out to members of the family so that they could be involved with it. Once they were finished filming, it was important for Bassett to have someone from Houston’s family view the biopic so that word could be spread throughout the family about it. So she contacted Dionne Warwick, the cousin of the late star. As Bassett told TheWrap during a screening in Beverly Hills on Tuesday:
“Well, I’ve spoken to Dionne. I was able to show it to her because I want Miss Cissy to see it.”
So Bassett screened the film for Warwick, and thankfully, the outcome was positive enough.
“This is their heart, so we don’t play with folks’ hearts. I was able to show Dionne, and it went very well. She appreciated it. So, now she can go and report to their auntie that we honored her.”
And even if Cissy isn’t a fan of it, or chooses to never watch the movie, Bassett says she doesn’t regret making it, especially since she says that she felt Whitney’s presence with her during filming.
“Never did I think, ‘I shouldn’t have done this.’ There might have been moments where you say, ‘How’s it going to come together? Will people receive it positively?’ But I really felt her presence, and I knew it would be OK.” Her spirit was with us.”
You can judge the film for yourself when it premieres on Lifetime next Saturday, at 8 p.m.
When Jada Pinkett-Smith shared the photo of her 61-year-old mother coming out of the water at a beach and I saw her abs glisten in the sunlight, I almost choked on my layered chocolate cake. I told myself after being inspired by her incredible body that after I finished said delectable cake (can’t be wasteful!) that I was going to get back on my workout grind this week so that when I turn 60 (God willing), I can look at least decent if I can’t look like Ms. Adrienne Banfield-Jones.
But with her in mind, here are 10 other women over 50 and 60 who inspire us to want to keep our bodies right and tight because they look oh so amazing.
Ladies and gents, take cover, because Angela Bassett is putting on a gun show! The 56-year-old actress has been flexing on folks since she showcased her toned form in What’s Love Got To Do With It? and she hasn’t missed a beat more than 20 years later.
Let’s be honest, after the Aaliyah biopic, Lifetime is not exactly in our good graces right now. So sad to say, the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic will be under even more scrutiny. And we love Angela Bassett around these parts, so we’re sincerely hoping she gets it right.
Today, Lifetime released the official air date for the biopic, simply titled: Whitney. It will air on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 8pm ET/PT. As you know the biopic is set to focus on the relationship between Whitney and her husband Bobby Brown.
There are certainly similarities between the two Lifetime movies. Like Aaliyah’s family, Whitney’s family is not necessarily behind it. While Bobbi Kristina wanted the lead role, Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, believes Whitney should just be allowed to rest right now. And the estate didn’t grant Lifetime permission to use Whitney’s songs for the film.
But despite these hurdles, I’m still holding out hope. Because instead of having YaYa attempt to sing those iconic songs we all know and love, Lifetime enlisted the help of Deborah Cox to do the vocal work.
So it could very well work. And these pictures seem to suggest that it won’t be an all out debacle.
Immediately after the movie, Lifetime will air an hour-long documentary called Beyond the Headlines: Whitney Houston
Check out some more pictures from the set below and on the following pages.
Angela Bassett On Whether Or Not She Knew Whitney Houston Well Enough To Do The Biopic: “Who Does But The Person And The Lord They Serve?”
While chatting with HuffPost Live this week about all her new projects, including “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” Angela Bassett spoke in-depth about her connection to Whitney Houston and what people can expect from the biopic she directed for Lifetime about the music legend’s life–which is specifically about her relationship with Bobby Brown.
Bassett has received a lot of criticism for going forward with the film against the wishes of the family (and we know Bobbi Kristina felt some kind of way about not being cast to play her mom), specifically from Cissy Houston:
“Lifetime has chosen to go ahead with the movie about Whitney in spite of my family’s objections. No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with Bobby.”
But in her HuffPost Live chat, Bassett said that no one really knows a person intimately like that, aside from God, but that she and Whitney made quite the connection after doing Waiting To Exhale. For that reason, while she might not be the perfect person to tell such a story, she only has good intentions when it comes to her late friend:
“We worked together, Waiting To Exhale. There was hope that we would be able to do the sequel, but unfortunately there was her untimely passing…that made it really, really difficult to try figure out how to tell that story. But we had a wonderful time together. We were all so young, she was very young and at the top of the game and had a young daughter at the time. Bobbi Kristina could not have been 4 years old or maybe around that age around then. It was a delightful time and it was amazing to be around her. She had done “Bodyguard” and had broke through this glass ceiling of what a sista was paid, and what a woman was paid. I was mesmerized by her talent…we had a mutual admiration for each other. We were there for each other.”
So how does she feel about the criticism from Whitney Houston’s family?
“Well, I can understand. I consider it a gift that was given to me, the opportunity to tell the story and try to tell it with love, compassion and dignity and be concerned about it. Staying up all night just fretting and just caring for it and standing up for it. Taking whatever licks for it, because I, like everyone, adored her. At its core, it’s a love story. It’s a love between two individuals, a man and a woman. I did spend a little time [with] her, but to know her intimately, intimately — I mean, who does but the person and the Lord they serve? Who knows a person? But I know a little about being in the spotlight, a little about celebrity and its demands, a little about trying to find a mate and the support that’s needed in your industry — mine being acting, hers music industry. I think I know about being a woman, about being a black woman that came up in a little hometown … and yet you are able to become a success because of this God-given gift or talent. So I know a little bit about what it might have been like.”
But Bassett recently told Cosmo that she would like the family, both the Houstons and Bobby Brown and co., to see the film before it airs on Lifetime.
“But I do – I, personally – hope to present it to [them], allow them to see it before the world has an opportunity to see it. That’s my desire. Because this is not theater – this was a life. So, because it is going to be done, it is going to be seen, it’s done now. To me, that just shows respect.”
Are you here for the biopic? It’s finished, and will be coming to a TV screen near you sometime next year. Check out Bassett’s thoughts in full on her critics and on Whitney below. She talks about it around the 7:00 mark:
It’s no secret that Angela Bassett has been the killing the game, in more ways than one, for years now. Whether it’s the roles she plays or the seemingly effortless way she seems to glow on the red carpet, Ms. Bassett has been doing her thing for decades now, even though you might not be able to tell looking at her physical appearance.
The Emmy nominated actress recently spoke with digital magazine Violet Grey to explain her red carpet routine, share a few beauty and life gems she’s learned along the way and even pose for the camera.
Check out a few excerpts from the interview below:
V.G.: Getting ready for the red carpet is a ritual for many actresses. What is it like for you?
A.B.: My first question is always ‘Is my team available?’ I wish I could do all of this, but everyone has their gifts. Then I just sit there with my eyes closed. If I open them it’s only because I’m trying to get a few tips for myself!
V.G.: What kind of tips have you learned from your team?
A.B.: One thing that I’ve learned is don’t bring your false lashes all the way to the end of your eyes because it will bring your eyes down.
V.G.: How do you prepare for the red carpet in the days leading up to an award show?
A.B.: I try to watch my diet so I can fit into whatever I am wearing. Cut the sugar, the alcohol and the bread, and eat a lot of protein and veggies.
V.G.:Who makes a good date to an event?
A.B.: A friend or a sister. I mean, the husband is always great, but there is something about a girlfriend…
V.G.: Who does the red carpet well today?
A.B.: Cate Blanchett, Penélope Cruz, and, of course, Lupita [Nyong’o].