Angela Bassett Is a Procrastinator, but She'll Plan a Great Vacation for You...Eventually

The icon answers Marie Claire's questionnaire.

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The Golden Globe–winning actor, who stars in this month’s Netflix comedy Otherhood, would like world peace and a lazy day in yoga pants.

If I weren't an actor, I'd be: Perhaps a musician. My greatest wish is that I could play the piano or guitar.

Best career advice I've ever gotten: Every part isn’t for you, and that’s okay. That’s life. You can’t dance to every record.

The three qualities that got me where I am today: Patience. A love of and passion for what I do. Gratitude, not taking any opportunity for granted.

Moment I felt I made it: I’d have to say when What’s Love Got to Do With It was released and it was well-received, both critically and publicly. I worked very hard to get the part and equally hard to capture Tina Turner’s spirit throughout the film. I’m eternally grateful to have had that experience.

Kind of work I'd do for free: Doing work to help the homeless and less fortunate.

Favorite perk of the job: Traveling! One of the things I love the most about what I do is getting to see the world.

How did you make your first dollar? My first job was working with the elderly in a nursing home as a teenager.

Who do you admire and why? Sojourner Truth for her courage, strength, and fearlessness to speak the truth and bring about change and equality in the face of constant and persistent danger and opposition. I encourage everyone to read her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech.

Book that left a lasting impression on me: Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Food I’m not ashamed to admit I love: A decadent chocolate torte!

Cocktail of choice: Vodka with a splash of lime juice.

If you could live in a foreign country, where would it be? England

What every woman should try once in her lifetime: Giving herself a true day off filled with rest, surrounding herself with the things she loves, and being unapologetically self-indulgent.

My perfect day would begin: Waking up after 9 a.m. to have a lazy day of reading, dressed casually in my favorite yoga pants or jeans and a T-shirt.

My perfect day would end: Having a delicious meal at home with my two children and my husband, Courtney [B. Vance].

One thing I'm exceptionally good at: Choosing and coordinating really great vacations for family and friends. We always have a great time filled with many memories.

One thing I'm especially bad at: I’d like to practice less procrastination.

Superhero power I'd want to have: Doing away with war and restoring peace worldwide.

How do you clear your mind after a crappy day? I come home to my beautiful family and am immediately reminded that God blessed me real good.

Something nice I did for myself recently, because hey, why not: I went to a luxury spa for several days of pampering. I was recharged when I returned.

The last time I felt beautiful was: Being surrounded by family and friends to celebrate my birthday. It was a huge celebration filled with lots of love.

The beauty essential you'd have to pry out of my cold, dead hands: Perfume! One of my absolute favorite indulgences is fragrances.

The three qualities I always wanted in a partner: Reliability. Honesty. Compassion.

The three qualities I know now also matter: Wisdom. Joy. Mercy.

Advice to a woman with a broken heart: It’s okay to go through the hurt. But what’s most important is coming out on the other side of the pain and being open to receiving happiness and joy. Know that you deserve to be happy. Heartbreak doesn’t have to be your final destination.

This story originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Marie Claire.

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