Published on July 16th, 2011 | by thevyne0
Angela Bassett Times Three
Have you ever played that game with your friends where you ask, if there was a film about your life, what actress would you want to play you? Well Jada Pinkett Smith is about my height and skin color, I’ ve always loved the rebel in Lisa Bonet, but let’ s face it if anyone is really going to become me, so to speak, I want Angela Bassett. After seeing Angela in, Jumping the Broom, The Green Lantern, and Boyz N the Hood (which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its theatrical release) over the past three weeks it prompted me to think about her stellar body of work, how much I love her, and also appreciate the way she runs her career. She’ s a bonafied movie star that rarely gets enough attention.
Jumping the Broom — Mrs. Watson
Angela’ s performance in Jumping the Broom, for example, was a diamond that provided just the right light to make the entire movie shine. In no way do I think this is the best role she’ s ever done, that would be ludicrous, considering all of her stellar performances, most notably as Tina Turner, and Dr. Betty Shabazz, or even as “Biggies” mom in Notorious. Through her roles, Bassett gives women and especially black women a piece of your life and a person you know reflected back to the audience in a way that is respectful, entertaining, and inspiring.
Green Lantern — Dr. Waller
There is interesting cross section between Angela Bassett and her current role as Dr. Amanda Waller in Green Lantern (In Theaters Everywhere). In the comic book series Waller created Batman Beyond as a force for the future. Not veering far from her social work background in Chicago, she knew even in her darkened heart, that Gotham would need a Batman. Angela Bassett has slipped into the roll giving it a new body, new intrigue, and a complex mix of edge while exposing Waller’ s heart even under a wall. It is befitting that an actress without super powers can pull off super power performances. Bassett’s performances, like Waller’s abilities, display a complex range of how she goes after what she wants.
Boyz N The Hood –Reva Deveraux
In Boyz N The Hood, Angela played Reva Deveraux (I love that name) and embodied the black woman of the 90’ s. Reva was a teenage mom that surpassed societies expectations by completing her master’ s degree while raising a young son. One of my favorite scenes is when Reva and her son’ s father, Furious, have a very frank conversation about parenting. Angela delivers Reva’ s piece of mind with an intensity that emblazes the voice of not just Black single mothers but mothers period.
“ Of course you took in your son, my son, our son…and you taught him to be a man. I’ll give you that because most men ain’t man enough to do what you did. But that gives you no reason, do you hear me, no reason…to tell me that I can’t be a mother to my son. What you did is no different from what mothers have done from the beginning of time. It’s just too bad more brothers won’t do the same. But don’t think you’re special. You may be cute, but not special.” – Nicolaides, S., DJ Pooh (Producers) Singleton, J (Writer, Director), (1991). Boyz n the Hood [Motion picture]. USA: Columbia Pictures.
Angela Bassett has impressively added depth and range to the roles of wife, mother and friend without succumbing to the archetype of the character or herself. There isn’ t a formula to how she’ s going to play it. Angela has said herself, “ …I just love great roles and I love working.“ (Essence.com, 2011). As a true actress, Angela poignantly brings out the heart of all the characters she plays while allowing the unique charisma or angst to show in each individual role.
Green Lantern in Theaters Now!
Boyz N The Hood – Blu Ray release with bonus features out July 12, 2011