This month marks the 16th anniversary of Biggie’s death.  When you were filming “Notorious” was there anything you learned about Biggie and his relationship with his mother that you didn’t know before?

His mother was on the set every day.  I had seen her in the documentary and having her around the set, you just got more of her in person and it was just a blessing to have her there.  In spite of losing her son and how tragic that is, the love and light still radiates out of this woman.  He was adored as all children should be by their parents.

Last month during the Oscars telecast, there was an unfortunate incident after the Oscars with Quvenzhane Wallace…

(Angela leans forward)  What?!  They said something?

Well “The Onion” jokingly sent out a tweet calling her a c*nt.  The CEO issued an apology almost 12 hours after.

(Curses)  Excuse my French but you don’t mess with children like that.  She doesn’t even know what that word is!

Between this incident, the constant criticism of Michelle Obama, and the depiction of women in black reality shows, does it sometimes feel that the media is out to get black girls and women?  Do we have a right to be defensive or are we just being paranoid?

I don’t want to make a blanket statement, maybe take it in a case by case situation.  But of course sitting in the black skin I’m in, you find it disrespectful. Whenever someone rises to a certain position, it seems they’re always shot down.  But maybe that’s a good thing- whether you’re the First Lady or the youngest actress ever nominated for an Academy Award, you’re in the cat bird seat so someone will always say something ignorant or take shots.

As the mother of a young black girl, what lessons and images are you and your husband (Courtney B. Vance)  exposing her to counter the negativity towards black women in society?

We keep her in the Word. I always tell her she’s awesome, beautiful, amazing. We monitor the images she’s exposed to and the people around her.  So far, so good, but I’m protective. I’ve had issues with self-esteem—some days you’re feeling real powerful and other times your spirit is weak.  But it’s all about being resilient, knowing you’re capable and that you’re just as good as anyone else.

You can follow Angela Bassett on Twitter: 

“Olympus Has Fallen” opens nationwide Friday, March 22nd



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