*Angela Bassett attended the Live Bible Experience Show at her church, West Angeles COGIC, last week (Nov. 15th). Blair Underwood, Loretta Devine, and Melinda Williams performed readings from the bible while Kirk Franklin provided the music and Star Jones hosted the evening. Angela performed the story of Queen Esther along with her husband, Courtney Vance, and comedian Niecy Nash.
Excerpt from the LA Times article God's Entourage:
Angela Bassett, elegantly dressed in a white blouse and black skirt, is seated in the 5,000-seat cathedral. She and her husband, actor Courtney B. Vance, are standing in the second row a few feet from Bishop Blake. Vance holds a Bible in his right hand, arms outstretched, and moves to the music. He gives Bassett a tissue when she starts to weep. After blotting her damp eyes, she raises her arms in the air.
In an interview a few days later, Bassett, who has attended services in the West Angeles Cathedral for more than 15 years, talks about the tears. "When you realize that every breath is a gift from God. When you realize how small you are, but how much he loved you. That he, Jesus, would die, the son of God himself on earth, then you . . . you just weep."
During a 40-minute telephone chat, words pour from the Oscar nominee as she explains that taking on the role of Esther for "The Bible Experience" was an easy choice. And if there ever is a film version, she'll be the first in line. The Bible is the greatest story ever told, she says, the greatest drama. She sprang at the chance to mingle her creativity with her spirituality. "Oh, yes, I was waiting for the opportunity."
"It's all a quest. We're all searching for fulfillment and for purpose. We can't find that without God. We'll find something . . . Is it yoga? Is it promotion and prestige? Is it fame? Is it shopping? Is it being highly favored by men and by peers? Something is at the center of our lives, and for me it's God." In between bites of broccoli and a boiled egg, Bassett says: "I really believe that what I do as an actress is my God-given talent. This is my calling . . . not my career. And I appreciate it. To lend my voice and my talent to 'The Bible Experience' is just a way of saying, 'Thank you.' "
Asked if she's uncomfortable discussing her religious beliefs in public, she sounds surprised, even impatient. She grew up in the church, sang in the choir, performed in plays. "Loving God is like my being black. I just am. [No one says] 'You know what? I'm gonna be blacker today!' It's my culture. It's not something I put on or take off or show more. You just communicate that in the way you live your life."