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‘It’s About Knowing Your Worth and Standing On It’: Angela Bassett Talks Being ‘Paid Fairly’ When Becoming the One of the Highest-Paid Actresses on Television

Angela Bassett has been a long-time respected actress who time and time again gives everything she has to the characters she plays. It’s not just fans who see it but also the head honchos in television and film have acknowledged her gift on screen. Just last year, she became one of the highest-paid actresses on television after it was announced that she would be getting paid $450,000 per episode on her show “9-1-1.”

Last Wednesday, Bassett spoke with Instyle about having the confidence in herself to know what she deserves to be paid for her work. The 63-year-old started by making it clear that she did not get into the acting business just for the money, but that it was her passion. “Everyone wants to keep the lights on, but I’ve never been motivated solely by money or fame. For me, it’s always and only been for the joy of following my dreams. That’s what makes me feel alive.”

CLEVELAND, OHIO – OCTOBER 30: Angela Bassett speaks in the press room during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

“Now, it’s good to be paid. That is one thing that I’ve said to myself since early on in my career. I mean, I literally would say, ‘I want to work in roles that can change me and change the conversation. I want to work consistently. And I want to be paid fairly.’”

Bassett and a few of the other cast members on the Fox drama series got raises ahead of their fifth season last August. After some “lengthy negotiations,” it was decided that the pay increase was a suitable amount for Bassett’s role as field Sgt. Athena Grant. According to Deadline, Bassett is not just doing an on-screen role but she is also working as the executive producer of the show as well as “9-1-1: Lone Star.”

The “What’s Love Got To Do With It” actress added, “It’s about knowing your worth and standing on it. Being in positions and places where your worth is appreciated is a good thing. I’m glad that it can influence others. There is a bit of me that’s from a generation where we don’t talk openly about things like that. But I understand what generation this is today.”


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