There are a lot of words that could describe Angela Bassett’s character in Jumping the Broom, a family comedy about two worlds colliding during an elaborate wedding on Martha’s Vineyard. Bassett plays the mother of the bride, a well-heeled, impeccably styled woman of means. Just don’t call her a diva.
“She’s born into money, well-bred, she has a standard,” Bassett says. “Maybe someone else might call her a diva, but I don’t think she characterizes herself as that.”
One of the draws of Jumping the Broom for Bassett was the chance to show a character like hers, as it helps show a part of the African American experience not often portrayed on film.
“My kids’ godparents, they and their family have been to Martha’s Vineyard at least two weeks or one week every summer for the past 18 years,” she says. “There’s a rich history of African Americans in Martha’s Vineyard, working there and then living there.” (The Martha’s Vineyard of the movie is actually Nova Scotia.)
Another big draw for Bassett to take on Jumping the Broom was the fact that she’d be going head to head with Loretta Devine, a long-time friend even though the pair haven’t shared a screen since Waiting to Exhale 16 years ago.
“I know … I mean I think I know what she’s going to bring to the table,” Bassett says of Devine with a smile. “I know it’s going to be delicious, what she brings to the table.”
And the two might be re-teaming again sooner rather than later, as talk of a Waiting to Exhale sequel has gone beyond just talk, according to the actresses.
“It’s not in the beginning stages. Probably near the middle, in that there is a script,” Bassett explains. “Forest (Whitaker) is on board to direct it, and it could go. I’d say within a year or something like that.”