Angela Bassett’s agents almost turned down “The Jacksons: An American Dream.”

At SBIFF, Bassett recalled telling anxious agents, “I’m not going out for the role of Michael, I’m going out for the role of their mother.”

Although currently nominated for an Oscar for playing the mother of a different kind of dynasty, one of the roles that made Angela Bassett a screen icon was as matriarch Katherine Jackson in the 1992 miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream. he was advised not to take it.

On Feb. 9 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to accept the 38th annual Montecito Awards, the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” actress sat down for a career-spanning conversation with the festival’s executive director, Roger Durling, and revealed that her musical family In the middle of an audition for an ABC TV event, his agents said, “You know what, there are a lot of allegations in the press about Michael (Jackson) and we don’t think he should be doing this project. “

The situation struck a blow for Bassett, as someone who had been a fan of the Jacksons all his life. “It was the first concert I went to as a little girl. I had posters on my wall,” he said. “There’s one of them in the room, and she’s auditioning to play her mother.” It’s been a crazy ride for me.”

Bassett said: “I remember telling my agents, ‘No, no, no, I’m not going out for the role of Michael, I’m going out for the role of their mother. And no matter what the claim, whoever, whatever we think – one thing is true, what I believe, what I see, is that they adore their mother. They respect their mother. And thatrespect for motherhood, respect for mothers, that’s what I want to give to the world.”

It became one of Katherine Jackson Bassett’s most memorable and popular performances, even serving as the basis for her co-star in “Akeelah and the Bee.” Keke Palmer’s viral impression about his last year. “It still had 40 million viewers,” the actress said. – We don’t see such a pair of eyes in the show today.

To bring things a bit full circle, current Best Supporting Actress winner Bassett also drew inspiration from her experience in “The Jacksons: An American Dream” for the performance that earned her her first Oscar nomination in 1994: Tina Turner in “What’s in the movie “Love Got to”. Do it with him?”

“Those kids were phenomenal. I think there were five sets because they had to grow from little kids to full grown adults. And they were amazing. They were my teachers in what I had to do later, because Tina came after her,” he said. “They sang, danced, acted and had to go to school. At least I didn’t have to go to school. And that was enough for me.”

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