Angela Bassett has been a working actress in Hollywood for over 30 years and she doesn’t plan on slowing down. She admitted in her Nov./ Dec. 2022 cover story with Essence that she loves the fact that she is still able to get roles and at the end of the day, acting has always been her dream.
“At one point early on, just going to work as an actress consistently—for me, that was the soft life,” she said. “At the beginning of the year on New Year’s—yay! On your birthday—yay! ‘I’m working—yes!’”
But while she keeps a busy schedule, Angela also carves out time for self-care. For example, while shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the cast and crew worked French hours meaning they worked 10 hours straight for 5-6 days a week. The Oscar-nominated actress made sure to be present during those hours she was on and she also made it a priority to be present when she was off.
“I would try to make the best of it,” the mother of two said. “Play some music, add a glass of wine to that after we wrapped, and then get some rest for another early pickup. If you have a day off, you go to a museum or the park, or go for a bike ride—something like that to just relax, to chill.”
But when it comes to truly living the “soft life,” Angela points to her husband of 25 years, Courtney B. Vance as the perfect example. The general definition of a “soft life,” according to many influencers on social media, is living a life that centers pleasure and actively choosing the path of least resistance.
“I think Courtney’s into the soft life,” Angela said of her talented husband. “He’s going to the chiropractor and getting foot massages. I’m like, ‘I need to catch up with you, learn from you. You are doing your self-care, brother.’”
Although Courtney is all in on the soft life, Angela is still finding her way. As one of the highest-paid actresses on television for her role in 9-1-1, she continues challenging herself in her work such as expanding into directing. Her work ethic is undeniable and the veteran actress attributes it to what she saw growing up.
“I think a part of me, or part of us as Black women, is that we become used to the stress of life,” she expressed. “It can become so pervasive, so every day, that it’s just what it is—with the work, and the husband, and the family and all that. That pulls on you.”
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/WireImage