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Exclusive: Angela Bassett breaks down Athena and Bobby's marriage woes on 9-1-1

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Angela Bassett as Athena Grant in 9-1-1
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
15 March 2024
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9-1-1 season 7 returned to screens on March 14 – and amid the usual emergencies, fans discovered the heartbreaking reality that Athena Grant (Angela Bassett) was worried her marriage to Captain Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) was in trouble. 

During a series of therapy sessions, Athena revealed that her main concern over going on a cruise with Bobby was not her life-long fear due to a childhood viewing of The Poseidon Adventure, but that without her children around, or the drama of their day-to-day lives working as Los Angeles' first responders, the pair would have nothing to discuss, or worse, nothing in common. 

Angela Bassett and Peter Krause in 9-1-1© Chris Willard
Angela Bassett and Peter Krause in 9-1-1

It may seem out of the blue, but Angela believes it is the "perfect" arc for Athena, as it matches the conversations happening around the world to other women in their 50s – including Angela herself. 

"I thought it was perfect. It's exactly what the writers do – they take something that is so universal and that couples and mature people are dealing with, and they find humor in it, and pathos, and I just love that," she tells HELLO! 

"And it mirrored my own life because my twins are 18, and these are their final months of senior high and they are itching and ready to fly, and I wonder: 'How am I going to be?' and I swear the writers have a bug in my house!" 

Slater Josiah Vance, Bronwyn Golden Vance, US actress and Honorary Award recipient Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance arrive at the 14th Annual Governors Awards in 2024© VALERIE MACON
Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance with their twins, Slater and Bronwyn

Angela, 65, welcomed her twins Bronwyn and Slater with husband Courtney B. Vance in 2006 and she admitted that "the dynamics in my house will change without those two, it will just be Courtney and me and the dogs," joking: "Courtney likes going on cruises, and I like flying off to tropical destinations – he doesn't want to fly that far, and I don't want to float that far!" 

Season seven episode one follows Athena and Bobby as they "set off on their honeymoon cruise, but when duty calls, their vacation is put on hold. Meanwhile, a fighter jet traps a civilian, and an unusual incident leaves a couple stuck together." 

Angela Bassett as Athena Grant in 9-1-1 season 7 episode one© Chris Willard
Angela Bassett as Athena Grant in 9-1-1 season 7 episode one

The first episode on ABC, after six seasons on Fox, the writers also had to battle introducing the dynamics of each character and their relationship to the others for a brand new audience – while not making it strange for the show's core fanbase who have been tuning in for years. 

Showrunner Tim Minear has taken back the reins for this season, and he told HELLO! that balancing those two acts was the hardest part of the premiere episode, which is why the show made the rare decision to take one emergency and run it across three episodes instead.

Watch the 9-1-1 Season 7 official trailer

Episode one ended on a major cliffhanger, as terrorists take control of the cruise ship, and episodes two and three will see Athena and Bobby work together to save as many passengers as they can, while Firehouse 118 comes to their aid.

Angela previously spoke to HELLO! at the 2024 Golden Globes and admitted this is her "favorite opening" in seven seasons. 

"It is going to be very wet and wonderful, wet and wild," she said. "It's a shortened season because we had such a crazy year in Hollywood, so we are going to give it to you, we won't be coasting, we are coming full throttle."

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