You may know her for her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Tina Turner in What's Love Got to do With It? or for her roles in American Horror Story or Akeelah and the Bee (among many other titles), but in economically disadvantaged south St. Pete, where she grew up in the Jordan Park area, Angela Bassett is a real-life inspiration.
On Tuesday afternoon during a stop just blocks from her childhood home, she aimed to inspire locals to get out and vote.
An clear supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, she said the stakes are high in 2016.
“We have two weeks to cross that finish line, and we want to cross it with big numbers," she said during her visit. “We have a competent, experienced, accomplished get-things-done candidate, and that's Hillary Clinton.”
She said as president, Clinton would build on the gains the Obama Administration has made in terms of moving the needle on equality, education and wages. GOP nominee Donald Trump, she said, would negate that.
“This election, the stakes are higher than ever,” she said.
Bassett offered a litany of reasons a Trump presidency is a scary prospect.
“Oh, just the ineptitude, oh, just the disconnect,” she said. “The way he speaks, the divisiveness, the racism, and unapologetically so. It's disturbing and it's appalling and he's appalling. And it must be stopped. He has to be stopped.”
In many parts of the country, Clinton's candidacy could probably use hand from people like Bassett. While polls suggest the election may break in her favor, her campaign hasn't sparked the same excitement as President Obama's did in 2008 and 2012.
The actress encouraged voters in the neighborhood to vote any way they can — early, on Election Day, by mail — and to go to iwllvote.com if they have any questions about getting to the polls.
“It's really about getting out and encouraging people to get out to the polls and make their voices heard," she said. "There's a lot of obstruction, there's a lot of misinformation, there's a lot of incidences of robocalling to our elderly, saying the election's been canceled."
Councilwoman Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, who attended the small, somewhat impromptu rally at the intersection of 22nd Street and 9th Avenue South, said her visit was a reminder of how critical it is to get out and vote.
“It's awesome that she came her to encourage people to vote, and how important this election is," she said.