30 years have passed since then What’s Love Got To Do With It It was released in theaters, and the lead star Angela Bassett Looks back on playing Tina Turner in the movie. Originally released on June 25, 1993, the film revives the story of Turner’s rise to fame while chronicling her turbulent relationship with Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne). Besides doing well at the box office, the film also saw Bassett and Fishburne nominated for Academy Awards for their performances.
In a new interview with Variety, Bassett spoke at length about What’s Love Got To Do With It. She can still remember how physically difficult it was to prepare to play the legendary singer-songwriter, recalling the intense rehearsals that started early in the morning before spending all day learning dance routines with choreographer Michael Peters. Bassett also remembers meeting Turner in person to get some guidance on learning her mannerisms and dance routines. As Bassett says:
“After I got the role, I was working with Michael Peters, the choreographer, and Tina came to his home dance studio. She showed me her photo albums and old photos of her with Ike and Ikettes. We sat on top of the photo album just so far. Consoling and listening to her memories of that time I remember once saying, “Oh my God, why did your jaw look like that?” And she said, “Oh, my jaw was broken when that happened.” But she was saying it with such disdain. It had been like that in the past, so behind her in her rearview She didn’t say it as if there was any shame, embarrassment, or regret. She wasn’t who she was at present.”
Bassett added on the dance routine:
“And she was fighting for me to learn the routine in my bare feet, not in my five-inch heels. I was like, ‘Thank you.'” Thank you very much, Tina. Because this Michael Peters is a beast. “
What did Tina Turner think of what love has to do with it?
Turner, who passed away in May at the age of 83, didn’t see the movie immediately after its release, says Bassett. But by the time the two got together nearly two decades ago, Turner had seen the movie and told Bassett how much she liked her performance. Bassett explains:
“Maybe 20 years ago, we were together and she took me aside and said, ‘You played really well with me. Thank you.” But even though she hadn’t seen the movie early on, she was there every step of the way. She was there at rehearsals. She was at the Neiman buying me blouses for “I Might Have Been Queen.” On her red “Disco Inferno” costume and letting me use that in the movie. And she’d always call to see what I’m doing. Always tell me I’m perfect, just perfect. And you’re just praying and working every day to serve her story.”
Bassett also talked about a legacy What’s Love Got To Do With It 30 years later. She believes Turner’s story continues to inspire others as the film still resonates with viewers today as it did in 1993. She says:
“Her story continues to serve others. It is a universal story and can be seen in today’s world. It is a story that still has the power to move people. It is a story that changed the lives of those who watched it. And not just women; men too. It is the story of a mature woman, and an emotional person who lost everything.” Something and still manages to survive—not just survive, but thrive. I have shown you that anything is possible, no matter where you are, what you look like, where you come from or what you started with.”
What’s Love Got To Do With It Currently streaming for free on Tubi.