Angela Bassett actually did the thing – which of course followed Ariana DeBose after the Oscar winner’s viral rap performance at last Sunday’s BAFTA Film Awards.
The track, which saw the Oscar winner shout out many of the female BAFTA nominees, was referenced live this week by the likes of Lizzo and Adele, and on social media by Halle Berry. DeBose’s playful references to the actors in the room — “Ana, girl, you were great in ‘Blonde,'” among others — visibly delighted the subjects of his jabs.
comment Species on the red carpet at the NAACP Image Awards — where she won both Outstanding Supporting Actress for “Wakanda Forever” and Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for “9-1-1” — Bassett revealed that she had absolutely no problem with the shout-out. In fact, he subsequently contacted DeBose to express his support after it went viral.
“I wrote him last night.” I did. It was beautiful,” Bassett said. “I just wanted to make sure he was okay because you know, it’s a lot of attention. And it’s fine.”
Bassett is far from the only fan of DeBose’s rapping. After the BAFTAs, the show’s producer, Nick Bullen, praised the performance and cited it as an example of how the awards show could evolve to become more modern.
“I absolutely loved it,” she said. “Everybody I talked to who was in the room loved it. He’s a huge star, he was amazing. The songs he sang were very familiar songs, he had the room clapping and people dancing to the music. That rap part in the middle, mentioning the women in the room, was because it was a great year for women in film, and we wanted to celebrate that. And here is a woman of color at the absolute top of her game. And opening the BAFTAs with a song that said so much. I felt like all the mentions from the moment we rehearsed it until the show last night were indicative of what we wanted to do.”