Angela Bassett. | FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES
There is no voodoo magic when it comes to how 55-years-young Angela Bassett looks ageless.
“I’m fighting the good fight when it comes to aging,” says the woman who had arms of steel or great guns before Michelle Obama picked up her first hand weight.
The New York City native stars as Marie Laveau in the hit series “American Horror Story: Coven” which returns with new episodes starting Wednesday.
Basset says that her work, plus being the mom of 7-year-old twins and wife of actor Courtney B. Vance, means she’s always on the go. How does she stay healthy and gorgeous?
Q: Let’s start 2014 in a Zen way. How do you de-stress?
A: I just try to embrace life. You can’t avoid the stresses of family and work, but you can’t fixate on the stress either. You have to allow yourself to put it all to bed at the end of the day – every single day.
Q: OK, now for the nitty gritty stuff. How do you stay so trim?
AB: I do try to eat well and I do well about 75 percent of the time. I do love sweets. But I try to counter-act anything I do that’s bad with something very good.
Q: Aren’t you a fan of raw foods?
AB: Even if you’re not eating all raw foods, it’s great to go out to lunch or dinner at one of those restaurants. You won’t eat anything that’s processed, so you won’t feel so guilty about it. I promise that you won’t gain weight eating raw. And I like to eat, so you can go for bigger portions.
Q: How do you sustain a healthy diet?
AB: You have to keep your diet interesting. I like tasteful and passionate food. It has to be flavorful. You gotta eat. It’s one of our greatest pleasures, but you’ve got to eat yourself well, which is why I’m also organic.
Q: You look ageless. What is your best skin care tip?
A: I do facials and serums. I did a couple of treatments recently that were interesting. I did a facial thingy that gets those muscles jumping. Even better was an oxygen facial that really made me look refreshed. I really think mostly you have to get away from the chemicals. I’m even avoiding shampoos filled with sodium lauryl sulfates. Remember that your skin is the largest organ of your body. The less artificial ingredients and chemicals that I’m putting on and into those pores, the better.
Q: Summer is only six months away. How do you motivate yourself to exercise?
A: My goal with exercise is I try to do it more often than not. Recently, I got a couple of my girlfriends together and we walked the Rose Bowl. It’s maybe a three-mile thing. It’s about showing up and accountability. You have to say, “Everyone will meet at 8:15 a.m.” I know when I have a real plan then I’m there. If my friends are waiting, that puts a pressure on me not to disappoint them.
Q: You’ve always said to set high goals.
AB: We’ll say, “Let’s do six miles today. We’re here. Why not?” And we all end up doing it. This is one of the best cases – ever – of peer pressure! I’ll be the one saying, “Speed up, ladies. We’re spending too much time chitchatting.”
Q: Um, do your friends hate you?
AB: One of my friends actually looked at me the other day, sighed and said, “Oh, pray for her!’”