Angela Bassett is not a fan of the phrase, “you look good for your age.” The 63-year-old actress clarified her perspective when she sat down for an interview with InStyle to reflect on selfcare, inspiring others and her rise to stardom.
“I think when we take care of ourselves, we do look good for our age, whatever age that is, you know?” Bassett said. “I always feel stronger when I work out, but it’s mind over matter. It’s something that I need to do for my head, not just for looking good. It’s very helpful for my stress level.”
Bassett, who still receives praise for her role as Stella in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, said she now meets women who are proud to say “I got my groove back.”
“I can’t tell you how many times ladies have come up to me and said, ‘I got my groove back,'” she said. “They’re embracing their sensuality and youth. In Hollywood, there was a time when people believed that once an actress turns 40, it’s over. But no, those things that make us who we are — our sensuality, sexuality, compassion, and intelligence — that doesn’t come to an end. It deepens and ripens, you know? It’s all in the attitude.”
Speaking about skincare, Bassett praised her aesthetician, Mamie McDonald.
“I found a great one, Skin by Mamie. She is so gifted at what she does,” the Hollywood star said. “I don’t really wear makeup if I don’t have to. I’m trying to just keep healthy skin that I don’t need to cover up. Of course, I have things that I deal with, like hormonal changes and melasma. But I feel like so much of who we are is on the inside. So if you’re stressed, it shows, and it shows in your skin.”
The Wakanda star also spoke about her effort to break barriers and the progress she has seen in Hollywood through the years.
“Thirty and 40 years ago when I started out, Black characters were weighted too heavily in the negative,” she said. “I was always mindful of those images. What are you saying about me and who I represent as a woman of color? There’s complexity to us. There’s beauty to us. There’s strength to us. There’s compassion to us. There are so many wonderful things.”
Reflecting on the seven years she spent at Yale University, Bassett said she remembers struggling with self esteem at the time.
“You wonder if you’re good enough or if you can handle the place,” she said. “I would literally stand in front of my mirror and give myself a good talking-to. I’d say, ‘How long do you want to be overwhelmed? Will 10 minutes serve? Fifteen?’ And I would answer, ‘Yes, all right. Well, have your pity party, but then after that, wash your face, comb your hair, and go do what you need to do.’ And I guess that was my way of therapizing myself in that moment.”