‘9-1-1’: Angela Bassett Explained Why Athena Grant Sees Things as ‘Black or White’

by Kati Michelle
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Here’s an analogy for you. Angela Bassett is to “9-1-1” as Mariska Hargitay is to “Law & Order: SVU.” This is to say, both ladies play a mega role in making the magic happen with each of their respective shows. Not only does she kill it in her Athena Grant character every week, but Angela Bassett also lends her hand to the show as an Executive Producer. She and the rest of the cast/crew have spoken openly about the great lengths they go to in order to make sure they portray the world of first responders and police officers as accurately as possible. At the end of the day, she’s put in the research and it shows.

That’s why fans are so enamored with the three-dimensionality that Bassett brings to Athena Grant as a police officer also trying to juggle the hard work that comes with motherhood. Fans think that a lot of Athena Grant’s success comes from the fact that she’s generally a “black or white” thinker. Angela Bassett recently sat down with Deadline to explore that idea further.

The ‘9-1-1’ Star Breaks Down How Her Character Handles Stress On the Job

Bassett calls her “9-1-1” character “very accomplished” and “quite the professional.” No matter what life throws at her, Bassett describes Athena Grant’s prerogative telling Deadline:

“She sees things as black and white—it’s right or it’s wrong. She thinks quickly about how to settle or neutralize a situation, and it may not be straight by the book. She’s been in probably hundreds of thousands of situations, but she understands human nature, on the job. I really appreciate her smarts as an officer.”

And it makes sense. A good cop knows how to keep a clear head, which is absolutely pertinent when wielding a weapon on their hip. Don’t let that fool you, though. Her ability to stay logical doesn’t mean that Athena Grant is an emotionless zombie.

What Motherhood Looks Like For Her Character

Range is an integral part of any good actor’s arsenal. And that’s exactly what Angela Bassett brings to Athena Grant whenever we see her maternal side. Bassett tells Deadline:

“At home, she’s a little bit more unstable. She’s soft, she’s motherly, she’s caring and she’s unsure, and I think that’s probably what resonates with audiences for all the characters. In their professional lives, they’ve really got it going on. They know what they’re doing, they’re good at their gig; they’re proven. But when it comes to these interpersonal relationships, you can’t control that, ‘cause your emotion is invested in that and it gets real. It becomes a tangled knot that’s more difficult to process through. The things she thinks she knows, she no longer knows.”

Outsider.com