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Angela Bassett Talks Role in ‘Black Panther’, Diabetes

Angela Bassett on 'Black Panther,' health and her mom 2:18

At 58, Oscar-nominated actress Angela Bassett has played a wide range of roles and now she’s set to be part of the ground breaking new movie, Black Panther, the first Marvel Comic book movie to feature a black super hero.

“It’s thrilling you know, it’s all new to me, the whole super hero and huge franchise [movies],” said Bassett. “It was cast from actors from all over the globe. I think that fans have been asking for it, looking for it, expecting it, and you’re going to be satisfied.”

The movie is slated to hit theaters next year and casts Bassett as mother of superhero T’Challa, the Black Panther. Bassett co-stars with Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong'o.

She was also recently cast in another big franchise movie: Mission Impossible 6.

“That’s another one. I’m like what’s going on? I love it, it’s thrilling,” said Bassett.

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Bassett revealed that she owes it all to her mother, Betty. It was her mother who pushed her to follow her dreams and gave her advice that she still remembers to this day.

“’You’re a prize,’” said Bassett. “Think well of yourself. Every one is, but you are one and don’t forget.”

Her mother was her inspiration and it’s because of her mother that Bassett has taken on a new role to raise awareness about diabetes.

“My mother had Type 2 diabetes as well as her brother, her eldest brother,” said Bassett. “At that time we were unaware about this link, this connection between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease which is what she passed from.”

Image: Netflix's "Master Of None" For Your Consideration Event - Panel
Actress Angela Bassett attends the panel discussion for Netflix's "Master of None" For Your Consideration Event at the Saban Media Center on June 5, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Netflix) Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

In fact, Type 2 diabetes is linked to multiple complications. According to the Mayo Clinic, those affected with Type 2 diabetes are at higher risk not only for heart disease, but also for amputations, blindness, kidney damage and more.

There are more than 29 million Americans with Type 2 diabetes and it affects African-Americans at a higher than average rate. There is also a genetic link with the disease. Because of Bassett’s family history, she revealed that she recently had a health scare during a yearly physical and has to pay attention to her diet and exercise.

Prevention and access to health care are key to keeping type two diabetes in check, said Bassett.

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“I think it’s extremely important. It’s life and death. Whether you can see a doctor whether you can get your medication whether you can afford it."

In Bassett's latest role, she gets to play the advocate who could save real lives, off the movie screen.

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