DIVAGALS INTERVIEW: Betty & Coretta Star Angela Bassett!

By   |   January 31, 2013   |   Entertainment

To kick off Black History Month, Lifetime is airing Betty & Coretta, a telefilm depicting the warm friendship between Dr. Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King, women who took up the civil rights cause when their husbands, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, were gunned down in the 1960s.

Angela Bassett does a fantastic job playing Coretta opposite Mary J. Blige‘s Betty. We caught up with Angela at the movie’s NYC premiere screening at the Tribeca Cinema in New York City Monday night. Looking flawless in a fitted┬áTracy Reese dress, Angela answered all our DivaGal questions.

What was your greatest challenge working on this film?

Getting down Coretta’s voice. It was almost like she had such control over herself. She was very strong, present and in control. Trying to capture that was the biggest challenge.

This movie is unique as it showcases the lives of Malcom X and Dr. King’s wives after these civil leaders’ deaths.

Yes. This movie does explore their friendship after their husbands’ assassinations. So it really about the strength and fortitude between these two women and how they kept their husbands’ legacies alive.

How was it working with Mary J.?

It was wonderful, and I look forward to doing it again. Mary always gives from the heart and leads with the truth, so we had a phenomenal time. We would bond early in the morning in the makeup trailer over hair and lips and lashes.

You play a mom in the film, obviously. How has it been raising your own two boys?

Actually it’s a boy and a girl [son Slater Josiah and daughter Bronwyn Golden], and I think it’s probably been easier than raising two boys (laughs). The girl is really girly and the boy is all boy. But it’s been fabulous. They are amazing little people, and they are charming. It’s not just there mama saying it; other people have noticed too.

Have they gotten the acting bug from you and your husband Courtney B. Vance?

They have leaned a little toward the theatrical, but that’s because of how I am. That’s how I tell the bedtime stories and explain things to them.

Have you ever considered directing?

Absolutely. That’s in the future.

Betty & Coretta airs Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.

photo credit: Getty Images for Lifetime

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