Angela Bassett is known for her powerhouse acting. She’s brought to life fictional queens, iconic divas, and beloved matriarchs. However, the role that defined her career for many was that of Stella. Bassett portrayed a 40-year-old stockbroker from California whose life was changed on a trip to Jamaica.
The film introduced the world to Taye Diggs and featured an equally powerful performance from Whoopi Goldberg. AngelaBassett is now opening up about how she was able to get through those intense sex scenes in How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
Stella Payne and her best friend Delilah took a trip to Jamaica, where they met 20-year-old Winton Shakespeare. Angela and Taye’s characters would fall in love and have to deal with the reality of their 20-year age difference. The duo shared some intense chemistry on screen, which was explored through various sex scenes.
While discussing the film with its director at 2023’s Tribeca Film Festival, Bassett described the whole experience as “brand new.” When conceptualizing the sex scenes, Angela says she and the producer needed to capture things from the female sexual gaze.
As a result, they had Diggs strip down to his birthday suit. “It’s my fantasy; he has to be naked, not me,” Bassett said. She compared it to other explicit scenes she had shot from the male’s gaze and how they were more focused on the female body.
For Stella, they wanted to flip the script. Fans online fondly remember the scenes, with one tweeting, “Taye Diggs in how Stella got her groove back might be the best a man has looked ever.” The series has gone on to become a sleeper classic for fans and even inspired a Hulu reality series centered around older women looking for love with younger men. “Back in the Groove” features Diggs as the host.
taye diggs in how stella got her groove back might be the best a man has looked ever pic.twitter.com/oxuo0EMzr8— BLACK HISTORY YEAR 2023 (@blkfilmenjoyer) May 25, 2023