Angela Bassett tells us about “Black Panther,” her new show with Ryan Murphy, and her health mission

When I received an email with “Angela Bassett” in the subject line, I immediately bypassed all my other emails and gave that one a hearty click. And then, when I saw that I was being asked to interview *the* Angela Bassett, I could feel my body being enveloped by a bubble of panic. But, I mean, how could I not? Especially considering the cause that was behind this request.

The For Your Sweetheart movement is one that aims to raise awareness about the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease. You may be wondering: What does this have to do with Angela Bassett? The prolific actress’s mom, Betty Jane Bassett, had type 2 diabetes — and tragically died of heart disease. With this being a part of her narrative, Angela joined the For Your Sweetheart movement to bring this important movement into the light.


To learn more about this movement’s mission, and Angela Bassett herself, I pushed my anxiety aside and the following transpired.

HelloGiggles: What is the one thing you hope to accomplish by joining the For Your Sweetheart movement?

Angela Bassett: Well, actually, one big thing is: save lives. You know, just go for it, right? Go big. And I think we have a chance of doing that. It’s a movement to help raise awareness, and I think as soon as we raise awareness, then people will understand the real link/correlation/connection between type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. And once they understand that risk, understand their heart risk, they can do something about it to help lower it.

HG: Everyone here in the office is so excited to see you in Black Panther. What made you want to take on a role in this movie?

AB: How could I not? You know, as they say, They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…an opportunity to work with some incredibly talented actors whose work I admire, young director Ryan Coogler — who’s been doing some great work — and I just really wanted to spend time on his set working with him… and also, just to come into this superhero, Marvel world. It’s all so good.

HG: Since you are super busy, is there one beauty or skin care product you always travel with?

AB: I do have my [line] for skin of color, the hyaluronic acid from Barbara Sturm skin care line. She and I partnered together on that, so I make sure I have that in my bag because, you know, I’ve got to keep it as moist as possible. And hyaluronic acid is very good for that.

HG: Do you have any advice for all the women who want to be doing what you’re doing? 

AB: Just keep dreaming. Keep hoping, keep dreaming. Don’t tell yourself you can’t. Because, as I tell my kids, it’s said, “If you say you can or say you can’t, you’re right. So say you can. Say you can. And dream big.”


HG: We are also incredibly excited about your new show, 911What about this project are you most excited to see come to life?

AB: I think some of the real critical and edge-of-your-seat sort of stories that these operators are engaged in, I think it’s going to be fascinating. I hope so. I mean, if Ryan [Murphy] and American Horror Story is any indication of what we’re able to cook up, then I think we have a great chance of making some TV that’s going to keep audiences glued to their seats. So I’m looking forward to that as well. We’re working on that this summer — for the top of the New Year.

To see the entire interview for yourself, and garner important information about the For Your Sweetheart movement, you can watch the following video:

To learn your heart disease risk, you can register on For Your Sweetheart for more information. For every individual who signs up, $1 will be donated across participating advocacy organizations.