Angela Bassett On Her Role In Freak Show
American Horror Story: Freak Show has got its full freak mode on and among the one of the best characters is the character of Desiree, played by Angela Bassett. The Inquisitr conducted an interview with Bassett when she let us in on some details about her notorious character. When asked about any real life resemblances of Desiree, Bassett said, “I’m not sure but I know there are instances of individuals that have these sort of characteristics. Today they’re called intersex. In the 1950s the term was hermaphrodite but today that’s considered passe, especially in that community.” Bassett also spoke about the makeup process which transforms the beauty into a hermaphrodite, she says, “They got a mold of my chest area, and then attempted to get the color and tone right. It still takes about forty minutes to paint it once it’s applied.”
Bassett praises the cast she has the privilege to work with and states, “I can’t believe I get to work with Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates in a lifetime, especially at the same time. It’s wonderful. Last year most of my scenes were with Kathy and Jessica. Everyone is the ultimate professional and we have a good time. We all have an appreciation for this crazy world and the things we’re asked to do stretches us and grows us. The fact that we get to come back year after year is a plus.”
The information about her part was not disclosed to her when she signed for it, Bassett states, “I didn’t have a clue whatsoever what the part might encompass when I signed on. All I knew is that I had a great time the previous year and if that was any indication than it was going to be a wild ride. It was about two weeks before I was scheduled to start shooting that I got the script. I sat down to read it to see, and I read the stage direction — African American woman in her 40s, hermaphrodite, three breasts and a ding-a-ling, and you go, “Oh my gosh!” and immediately close the page and have to walk around and process that for a minute.”
She reveals her excitement about being the star that she is and explains, “As an actor you’re used to putting on characters and taking them off — becoming characters and doing your research, but I think what I found most challenging about television and shedding one character and come up with another, is that there’s this lag time before I get to see what the character is looking or sounding like.”
We have recently had a new piece of information dropped on us, that is, the fact that, Desiree is not a hermaphrodite at all. She is all woman. How is this going to change Bassett’s approach to the character? She answers by saying, “: I don’t think it’ll change how I approach or how she acts. I think she’s comfortable with who she is by and large. I think she’s had to find a way to work and survive in the world. She’s reaching for what she calls normalcy, which is to have a family and children of her own. I don’t think it’s going to make her more feminine or whatever it might be. I’m open but I don’t anticipate the way she behaves. What influences that is how she’s treated by others.”
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