Angela Bassett was nominated for an Oscar for playing mother to a different kind of dynasty in the 1992 miniseries "The Jacksons: An American Dream," a job she said she was never advised to take.
The actress of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" spoke with the festival's executive director on February 9 about her role in the “Santa Barbara International Film Festival.” She said she was in the midst of auditioning for an ABC TV program about the musical family when her agents said, “You know what, there are a lot of allegations about Michael [Jackson] in the press, and we don't think you should do this project.”
Bassett, who has been a long-time fan of the Jacksons, was dealt a blow. “They were the first concert I ever attended as a child. They had posters on my walls,” she said. “Here's one of them auditioning me to play his mother. This was a crazy trip for me.“
"I remember telling my agents," "I'm not going out for the role of Michael," but I'm going out for the role of their mother. And, whatever the allegations, or whoever, whatever we think, one thing is true: they adore their mother, and they revere their mothers."
Katherine Jackson became one of Bassett's most memorable, most popular performances, even serving as the basis for her co-star in "Akeelah and the Bee" Keke Palmer's viral impression of her last year. "It went on to have like 40 million viewers," said the actress. "We don't get those kinds of eyeballs on the show today."
Bassett, who is currently running for Best Supporting Actress, has also credited her participation in "The Jacksons: An American Dream" as an inspiration for the performance that earned her her first Oscar nomination in 1994: Tina Turner in "What's Love Got to Do With It?"
“Those kids were absolutely fantastic. I think there were five sets because they had to grow from minor children to advanced adults. They were incredible. They were my teachers in what I had to do later because Tina came after that,” she said. “They sang, they danced, they performed, and they had to go to school. I didn’t at least have to go to school. That was enough for me.”