In an interview with Closer Weekly, Angela Bassett expresses how important it was for her 12-year-old twins, Bronwyn Vance and Slater Vance, to see the Black Panther film, in which she plays a powerful queen and mother of the superhero.

“They can see themselves as warriors, as heroes, as kings, as queens,” she told Closer. “It’s such positive images.” Angela has always worked hard to bring positive images to life — from Tina Turner in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It to Coretta Scott King in 2013’s Betty and Coretta.

angela bassett getty images

Angela at the Black Panther premiere.

“If you’re passionate, you have a great shot at being successful,” she tells Closer. “I’ve learned to always keep my head up.” Angela, 59, recalls how her social worker mom, Betty, tried to shield her from disappointment when she dreamed of being an actress at age 15. “My mother said, ‘Not in your lifetime! What black actresses do we have?'”

Angela’s drive — which later earned her a degree from Yale University’s drama school — soon won Betty’s blessing. Betty died in 2014 from heart disease, but Angela remains grateful. “My mom was a real advocate for me,” she tells Closer. “I’m living my dream,” she beams. “I’ve come to understand that I possess a strength that people can feel and appreciate, a strength and sensitivity. I feel very blessed.”

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