Emmy Contenders: Angela Bassett goes behind the camera for ‘Whitney’


Angela Bassett has been in the acting game long enough to have played a wide range of characters: protective mothers, doctors, and who can forget her Tina Turner? What does a performer do after that? If you’re Bassett, you take all that industry experience and put it behind the camera for the Lifetime film “Whitney,” a bio pic of the late Whitney Houston.

“Directing was something that I toyed with in my mind, but, of course, it felt daunting,” Bassett said when she dropped by The Times studio for a chat. But when she was out to lunch with the movie’s producer and he asked her for director recommendations, well, she couldn’t help but pitch herself. And to her great surprise, the production was eager to have her come aboard.

She asked to read the script, “because it all starts on the page, for me, if it’s worth doing because you give everything as an artist -- you give part of your spirit, your soul -- to make this world come alive.”


And the very next day after wrapping her directorial debut she was on an airplane to the set of “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” to start her role as the three-breasted performer Desiree Dupree (“I didn’t want the conjoined twins, that’s too much work”).

See what she had to say about the approach she took on “Whitney,” what it was like wearing the chest prosthetic (foam is better) and whether her new character on the next season of “Horror Story” is related to Lady Gaga in the video above.