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Angela Bassett Was Scared To Take On The Intense Underwater Training For Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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During an interview with Tamron Hall, Angela Bassett shared her experiences preparing the film. While she stressed that she had nothing to do with the fighting aspect of the film, she did work with Olympic swimmers in preparation. “Hold the weights and walk along the bottom of the pool. Very scary at first,” she said.

When asked if she was a great swimmer, Bassett said, “I grew up a little bit in Florida. You know, black women and their hair in the water, humidity, rain.” Hall agreed, saying that she conducted a study on the reasons young black women don’t learn to swim, and the #1 reason was their hair. However, she also pointed out the importance of a star like Bassett taking on a role that dips her in water to “improve our education and culture.”

“You know, you hold her [the weights] in your hands, and you walk the bottom of the pool, the length of the pool. I was amazed at myself,” Bassett recalled. She was so proud of it because during her training she had achieved something she never really believed she could. Despite her inexperience and fear, she triumphed.

Bassett also spoke about her experience using a technique called freediving, which essentially means swimming below the surface without an oxygen tank. The goal is to hold your breath and see how long you can walk successfully. “My instructor could do six minutes and her instructor could do nine minutes. I got two minutes,” she explained. However, going from little swimming experience to holding your breath for more than two minutes is nothing to be afraid of.



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