Within hours of music icon Tina Turner’s death, actress Angela Bassett posted a tribute that felt fitting, as Bassett introduced many people to Turner’s story when she played her in the 1993 film. What’s Love Got To Do With It,
“How can we bid farewell to a woman who owned her pain and trauma and used it as a means to help change the world?” asked Bassett, who was nominated for a 1994 Oscar for Best Actress for the role. “Through his courage in telling his story, his commitment to staying the course in life, no matter the sacrifice, and his determination to make a place in rock and roll for himself and others who look like him.” Determined, Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like.”
Bassett’s biopic featured memorable scenes of physical abuse from her then-husband and sometime musical partner, Ike Turner, who died in 2007. It was not easy to see them.
“Her last words to me – to me – were ‘You never copied me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world,'” Bassett said. “I will hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days. I am honored to have known Tina Turner. I am humbled to have helped show her to the world. So today, as we celebrate this iconic Mourning the loss of her voice and presence, she gave us more than we could ever ask for. She gave us her whole self. And Tina Turner is a gift that will always be ‘just the best’. Angels rest in thee Sing for…Queen.”
While Bassett excelled at playing Tina Turner, it took a toll on her.
“It was emotionally very demanding every day,” Bassett told Yahoo Entertainment in March 2016. There wasn’t (any) easy day or easy week or easy setup. Every day, every scene, emotionally grueling.
Sherrill Lee Ralph, Forest Whitaker, Mick Jagger, Viola Davis and others also reacted to the extraordinary loss.