Angela Bassett, 63, addressed her stance on the statement “you look excellent for your age” when she sat down for an interview with InStyle to discuss self-care, motivating others, and her meteoric ascent to fame.
“I think when we take care of ourselves, we do look good for our age, whatever age that is, you know?” Bassett said. “I always feel stronger when I work out, but it’s mind over matter. It’s something that I need to do for my head, not just for looking good. It’s very helpful for my stress level.”
Bassett, who is widely recognized for her portrayal of Stella in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, said she now meets women who are happy to proclaim, “I got my groove back.”
“I can’t tell you how many times ladies have come up to me and said, ‘I got my groove back,'” she said. “They’re embracing their sensuality and youth. In Hollywood, there was a time when people believed that once an actress turns 40, it’s over. But no, those things that make us who we are — our sensuality, sexuality, compassion, and intelligence — that doesn’t come to an end. It deepens and ripens, you know? It’s all in the attitude.”
Speaking about skincare, Bassett praised her aesthetician, Mamie McDonald.
“I found a great one, Skin by Mamie. She is so gifted at what she does,” the Hollywood star said. “I don’t really wear makeup if I don’t have to. I’m trying to just keep healthy skin that I don’t need to cover up. Of course, I have things that I deal with, like hormonal changes and melasma. But I feel like so much of who we are is on the inside. So if you’re stressed, it shows, and it shows in your skin.”
The Wakanda actress also discussed her efforts to break down barriers and the advancements she has witnessed in Hollywood over the years.
“Thirty and 40 years ago when I started out, Black characters were weighted too heavily in the negative,” she said. “I was always mindful of those images. What are you saying about me and who I represent as a woman of color? There’s complexity to us. There’s beauty to us. There’s strength to us. There’s compassion to us. There are so many wonderful things.”
Bassett reflected on her seven years at Yale University, recalling her struggles with self-esteem at the time.
“You wonder if you’re good enough or if you can handle the place,” she said. “I would literally stand in front of my mirror and give myself a good talking-to. I’d say, ‘How long do you want to be overwhelmed? Will 10 minutes serve? Fifteen?’ And I would answer, ‘Yes, all right. Well, have your pity party, but then after that, wash your face, comb your hair, and go do what you need to do.’ And I guess that was my way of therapizing myself at that moment.”
Angela is currently filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in which she reprises her role as Ramonda, but she has also recently taken on the voice role of Dorothea Williams in the beloved Disney+ production Soul, a heartwarming film that touches on the same themes of inclusivity and history that the actress is known for.