Known for her portrayals of passionate, powerful women, ANGELA BASSETT is reaching a whole new generation as the indomitable Queen of Wakanda. The actress talks Black Panther, self belief and why age is just a number with JANE MULKERRINS
The truth is, Bassett looks incredible for any age. She is tiny and taut in dark jeans and a black knitted top, with distractingly chiseled bone structure and huge feline eyes. And, despite the tightness of her triceps, she claims not to be obsessive about exercise. “But I’m regimented and rigorous about what I’m eating,” she says. “Diet is 85% of the whole thing for me.”
This morning, she orders oatmeal – made with water – and, when it arrives, rummages around at length in her Hermès tote, finally fishing out a Ziploc bag filled with sachets of sweetener. She travels with her own, just in case.
I press her on exercise, though – it just doesn’t seem feasible that she does not workout – and she admits to having a trainer. If she’s at home in LA, she will see him four to five times a week, but not when she’s traveling, like now. “I’ll try to get to the hotel gym and do 30 minutes of cardio, and lift a couple of weights or something. But I’m not getting up at 4am to workout,” she says, looking appalled at the very idea.