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“There was no script, it was just an idea,” Angela Bassett told The Hollywood Reporter‘s Drama Actress Roundtable of signing on to Ryan Murphy’s new Fox series 911, “but it’s the company you keep.” That company included Murphy, with whom Bassett worked for four years on American Horror Story. “That relationship extended for four years. I felt very comfortable like it was a repertory company, company of wonderful actresses and actors.”
“Also being a mother, if I go away it really has to be something I’m attracted to, because when I go, I am away. It’s consuming,” Basset told the roundtable. Bassett earned two of her four Emmy nominations for her acting work in American Horror Story (she also served as a director). She also has one career Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win for the film What’s Love Got to Do With It.
Bassett discussed the issue of equal pay for equal work as part of the Roundtable, saying, “For so long it’s just been about wanting to work and wanting to be paid fairly, and not having a frame of reference of what someone else is getting, or the fear of if you overreach you’re going to lose.”
Bassett also starred as the queen and mother to Chadwick Boseman’s character in Black Panther. “I was a fan of [director Ryan Coogler’s] previous two films, his only two films, a very small film (Fruitvale Station), and then a slightly bigger film (Creed), but this one was a massive undertaking for this young man,” she said.
“There’s some moments and some sets where everyone catches the fever of it, the heat of it,” Bassett continued, “and they’re bringing the best to the moment. They’re giving the full measure of their devotion, everyone. And that’s what you experienced and felt and saw on that set.”
The second season of 911 starring Bassett premieres Sept. 17 on Fox. The full Emmy Roundtables air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The full Drama Actress Roundtable starring Bassett, Elisabeth Moss, Claire Foy, Thandie Newton, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Sandra Oh airs Sunday, July 15 on SundanceTV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.
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