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Angela Bassett covers ‘Essence,’ talks filming ‘Wakanda Forever’ and building her resume after early career films


Darius X Moreno / @dariusxmoreno

Angela Bassett is a Vibe,” reads the title of Essence‘s latest cover story featuring the award-winning actress. 

For the November/December issue, Bassett opened up about a plethora of topics, including navigating Hollywood after career-early gigs like Boyz N the Hood and filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever without Chadwick Boseman

Bassett said she felt butterflies when returning to set. “There are these two things that we were dealing with: the loss of our leader and trying to meet the expectations of an audience,” she said, adding, “The mantle is monumental, but it’s not so heavy that we can’t accomplish what we all gathered together to do.”

Bassett told Essence she and the cast and crew worked nonstop during filming — 10 hours straight for five to six days a week. According to director Ryan Coogler, she easily adapted to the work schedule and “was always there on time and right where you needed her to be.”

To help with the hectic schedule, Bassett said, “I would try to make the best of it. Play some music, add a glass of wine to that after we wrapped, and then get some rest for another early pickup.”

The 64-year-old actress is no stranger to late nights and early mornings. “You have to stay hungry and you have to remain hungry,” she said while reflecting on building her decades-long entertainment resume after ’90s classic Boyz N the Hood. 

Bassett cites her working-class upbringing as the source of her industrious work ethic.  

“I think a part of me, or part of us as Black women, is that we become used to the stress of life,” she said. “It can become so pervasive, so everyday, that it’s just what it is…”

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