Angela Bassett Reflects on Finding Success After 'Decades of a Career' (Exclusive)

ET spoke to Bassett at the NAACP Image Awards Saturday night.

Angela Bassett has been doing the thing!

ET spoke to the decorated actress at the 54th NAACP Image Awards Saturday, where she reflected on finding success after decades in the business.

"Oh my gosh I need to sit down somewhere," Bassett joked when asked about her busy career. "And fan myself, oh my God. It's amazing because it's been it's been decades of a career, and to remain, to be able to do it, to persevere at a high level and for it to be appreciated, to receive so much love and support from audiences from my community, from around the world is -- oh my gosh, I only wish my mother could see it, to be here to witness it."

Bassett, who won Entertainer of the Year at Saturday’s awards show, also took home an acting trophy for the television series 9-1-1.

As for what it means to be honored by her peers, the 64-year-old screen star called it "vital."

"It's absolutely vital. It's vital to our survival, to our forward movement," she explained. "No man is alone, no woman is alone, don't believe that. Don't believe in that. We have each other. Reach out to one another."

In addition to taking home trophies, Bassett had some fun while accepting her many accolades. Referencing Ariana DeBose's now-infamous rap performance at the 2023 BAFTA Awards the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star proved she knows how to carry a joke while accepting her Entertainer of the Year award onstage.

"I guess Angela Bassett did the thing," she quipped to the audience's laughter.

The reference is to DeBose's opening for the 2023 BAFTA Awards, in which she performed "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves" and "We Are Family," and the infamous original rap where she shouted out the awards show's female nominees. 

“Angela Bassett did the thing, Viola Davis my 'Woman King,' Blanchett Cate you're a genius, Jamie Lee you are all of us,” sang DeBose. The camera panned to the women as they were name-dropped. 

Memes quickly made their rounds on social media among a wide range of responses, which seemingly led DeBose to deactivate her Twitter account

Bassett told Variety on Saturday that she reached out to DeBose in the aftermath to check in on her.

"I DM'd her last night. I did. It was beautiful," Bassett said. "I just wanted to make sure she was okay because, you know, it's a lot of attention. And she is A-Okay."

DeBose later reacted to the viral moment, commenting on a carousel of memes with, "Honestly I love this."

In a preview for an upcoming interview on BBC Radio 2's The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show posted on TikTok, the West Side Story star brushed away the criticism and focused on the love she's received. Ball's among DeBose's fans who loved the performance, said: "it was a woman, singing and dancing, being magnificent, celebrating women onstage."