Following the initial shock of the breakup between her character Athena and Rockmond Dunbar’s Michael, 9-1-1 star Angela Bassett opened up about how she approached the situation.
During a 2018 interview with Deadline, the 9-1-1 star revealed how the story about Michael, who came out gay during his and Athen’s marriage, was handled very well by the show. “Playing with the nuance of that was really interesting,” she explained. Part of it is being accepting and understanding. But the fact is, we were in a relationship. We were husband and wife. And then you sprang it on me.”
While continuing to discuss the storyline, the 9-1-1 actress also said that her character was dealing with a lot during that time. “She’s dealing with embarrassment. She’s been lied to. And now is being disrespected. Whether it’s with a man or with a woman. It doesn’t matter.”
Bassett went on to share that the 9-1-1 storyline was a “delicate” dance to her as an actor. “You should be honest, communicate, and be your authentic self. But we’re dealing with emotions and we’re dealing with children and their maturation.”
Barrett goes on to add that she thinks there was also a line that got cut. “[Michael] says, ‘Just follow me. Go with me.’ I was like, ‘But you’re going in a direction that the kids and I are having a hard time following right now.’ It’s not that we won’t get there. But it takes time.”
‘9-1-1’ Star Angela Bassett Revealed What Got Her Interested in the Hit Series
While continuing her chat with Deadline, Angela Bassett spoke about what drew her to the role on 9-1-1. “The big draw for me is that I had this history of working with Ryan, Brad [Falchuck] and Tim Minear, over the course of four years with American Horror.”
Bassett also stated that each year she was always very excited to start working with them. She then explained that all three appreciate mature actresses, those with history in what they bring to the screen. “So it’s a real love affair and appreciation,” the actress explained. “I knew that I was in a terrorize where you’re going to be challenged and pulled and excited about what they’re going to bring to the table.”
While discussing her role as a co-executive producer on 9-1-1, Bassett spoke about the impact that role has on her “creative” experience. “I was able to have a different sort of relationship this time around. Able to be in communication about, does this ring true about my character? Would I find myself in this situation? I was able to do that early on.”
Bassett went on to add that she appreciated having the opportunity to work as a co-executive producer on the series.