Are Tina Turner and Angela Bassett Friends in 2021?

Celebrities often tell their life stories as their career expands. However, very few biopics have seen the success of What’s Love Got to Do With It. The film documents the life and career of Tina Turner. Additionally, the movie provided the singer’s fans with vivid descriptions of the abuse she endured during her marriage to Ike Turner. 

Angela Bassett signed on to play Turner in her biopic, a decision she says changed her life. Although they share a special connection because of their film, are the two entertainers friends in real life? 

(L-R): Tina Turner smiling at a premiere and Angela Bassett posing at the Golden Globe Awards
(L-R): Tina Turner and Angela Bassett|Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic, Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

How Angela Bassett trained for the Tina Turner movie 

What’s Love Got to Do With It premiered in theaters on June 9, 1993. The movie was an adaptation of Turner’s 1986 autobiography, I, Tina. Turner wrote the book with the help of famed MTV News correspondent Kurt Loder and discussed how she left her marriage to Ike Turner. I, Tina, was one of the first times the “Proud Mary” singer opened up about her ex-husband’s abusive behavior. By the time she debuted her book, she and Ike divorced in 1978 after 16 years of marriage. 

RELATED: Tina Turner Only Got 2 Cars in Her Divorce Settlement From Ike Turner

After I, Tina came out, Turner announced that she was working on a biopic about her life. According to The New York Times, Halle Berry and Robin Givens auditioned to play Tina. However, the role eventually went to Bassett. Once she booked What’s Love Got to Do With It, the Black Panther star told NYT that she profusely studied Turner’s life and accomplishments. The actor said she watched as many of the “River Deep, Mountain High” singer’s performances. Bassett also read I, Tina multiple times. Through her research, she realized that she and Turner have similar upbringings. 

“We’re two Southern girls,” Bassett said. “Tina’s a Black woman from the South, and so am I. Tina went through abuse, and I’ve seen it. I know it.”

Tina Turner and Angela Bassett’s current relationship

Following the premiere of What’s Love Got to Do with It, Bassett’s career soared. The actor’s portrayal of Turner earned her an Oscar nomination in 1994. She continued to work on other films throughout the past two decades, including Waiting to Exhale, Notorious, and 9-1-1. However, Bassett shared during an appearance on People Magazine’s new podcast People Every Day that playing Turner was one of her most challenging roles.

“Definitely, nothing has been as difficult as Tina Turner,” she said. “Nothing as difficult physically, emotionally, spiritually, vocally. Nothing, absolutely nothing.”

Since What’s Love Got to Do with It, Turner and Bassett have maintained a friendship. In 2018, Bassett supported the singer by attending her Broadway show, Tina- The Tina Turner Musical. The How Stella Got Her Groove Back star was also apart of Turner’s HBO documentary, Tina. Turner’s film includes interviews with the singer, her husband Edwin Bach, Bassett, and Oprah Winfrey. At the end of the doc, Bassett shared how much she and Turner’s fans adore the rock star. 

Tina is available to stream on HBO Max.