Angela Bassett Gaining Ground for Women in Title Roles of Video Games
“Whenever I get an opportunity to go in another direction, I do” – Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett is leading the charge in uncharted territory, by becoming the first woman to be featured in the title role of Tom Clancy’s thrilling squad-based first-person shooter series – Nearing 20 produced games since 1998.
The team behind “Rainbow Six: Siege,” had been interested in a strong female actress to play the title character “Six” in the game for some time, and they found their perfect match in Angela Bassett. She’s not unfamiliar to these types of roles, playing the likes of a CIA chief in “This Means War” and a Secret Service head in “Olympus has Fallen” on screen, but video games, where women are rarely featured in titled roles, posed a different challenge.
When asked why she was interested in this role by the Associated Press, Bassett explained, “I’ve often played that sort of character – the boss, the head, the one in charge. I’ve done it in various movies. In that respect, it was familiar to me, but the world of games, how they put it all together, that was totally different and exciting to me. I was like a kid on the first day of school. I had lots of questions.”
She added, “Whenever I get an opportunity to go in another direction, I do. I’m very aware of media and women in the media and the way we come across. I thought this would be a very strong look, as a woman and as a black woman. For myself, it’s a way to keep current. I just wanted to have an opportunity to be part of something like that.”
When asked if she was aware of the criticisms facing the portrayal of African-Americans in video games, she went on to say, “I wasn’t at first. I have a cousin who is very much into this world. He told me this would be a big, big, big deal. I said, “Really?” There have been opportunities in film where the part was a male, and they’ve changed it for me, and I’ve been able to bring it to life. I’ve always liked that. This was another opportunity to do that. To hear that in this world, women are not usually in this role, that was very exciting news to me.”
It may have taken some time, but with the surge of diversity in lead roles across entertainment, this type of equal opportunity for women and minorities seems to be finally growing. Actors from all walks of life are getting the opportunities they deserve, based on their merits not mere stereotypes – Angela Bassett is proof, as she leads her team on their next counter-terrorism mission October 13 – The release of “Rainbow Six: Siege.”
Written by Zachary Layner