The Five Best Angela Bassett Movie Roles of Her Career

During her time in the entertainment industry, Angela Bassett has become one of the most well-known actresses of her generation. Her natural talent combined with her unstoppable work ethic has earned her dozens of opportunities to share her talent with the world. Unlike some artists who focus specifically on movie or film roles, Angela’s career has been full of a combination of both. However, there’s something extra special that happens every time she appears on the big screen. Her ability to bring her characters to life in unforgettable ways is truly unmatched. Continue reading for our list of Angela Bassett’s five best movie roles.

5. Stella in How Stella Got Her Groove Back

The 1998 movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back was based on the novel of the same name by Terry McMillan. The film centers around a middle-aged woman named Stella. She takes a trip to Jamaica as a way to treat herself to some rest and relaxation. While there, she develops an interest in a much younger man (Taye Diggs). However, their attraction to each other is put to the test due to their large age difference and the fact that they live in different countries. Although the movie received mixed feedback from critics, it did well at the box office and the movie is often considered a classic within the Black American community.

4. Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X

The movie Malcolm X was a huge success when it was released in 1992. Starring Denzel Washington in the title role, the movie told the story of Malcolm X from his childhood all the way until the moment he was assassinated. In the film, Angela Bassett played Malcolm’s wife and the mother of his children, Betty Shabazz. Although she had more of a supporting role in the movie, her strong screen presence made sure that Betty’s story was very much a part of the film as well.

3. Ramonda in Black Panther

The 2018 movie Black Panther was one of the biggest films of the year and there’s no doubt that it will eventually be considered a timeless classic. Angela Bassett’s portrayal of Queen Ramonda was the perfect fit for the movie. While she may not have had as big a role as some of the other characters in the movie, she lit up the screen every time she stepped in front of the camera. I think most people would probably agree that they couldn’t have picked a better person for the role. Fans will be happy to know that Bassett will be reprising the role in the upcoming sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is set to be released in 2022.

2. Bernie Harris in Waiting to Exhale

By the time Waiting to Exhale was released in 1995, Angela had already established herself as a talented actress who had the versatility to play a variety of roles. Her character in the movie was a woman named Bernie Harris who had given up a successful career to be a mother and a wife. Sadly, she finds out that her husband is having an affair with someone at work. To make matters worse, he decides to leave Bernie for the other woman. As you can imagine, Bernie was full of rage and she struggled to navigate her new reality. Not only was Bernie one of the most memorable characters in the movie, but she was also part of one of the most memorable scenes. In a fit of rage, Bernie puts her ex-husband’s clothes in a car and sets the entire thing on fire. The image of her walking away from the burning car has become a popular meme over the years.

1. Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Every actor has that one role that takes their career to the next level. For Angela Bassett, that role was Tina Turner. Her role in the 1993 movie What’s Love Got to Do With It was her first major film role and she didn’t disappoint. Her portrayal of legendary musician Tina Turner was so accurate and authentic that there are still some people who mistake her for actually being Tina Turner. Many consider this film to be one of the greatest music biopics of all time. That’s something that probably won’t ever change. The amount of time and effort that Bassett put into preparing for the role was evident in every minute she was in front of the camera. Her work in the movie earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress as well as two Grammy Award nominations. The success of the movie helped lead to other opportunities for Bassett.


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