Actress Bassett to make directing debut

Actress Angela Bassett poses during a photocall to promote the movie "Notorious" at the 59th Berlinale film festival in Berlin, February 11, 2009. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - As the long-running medical drama “ER” winds down, series regular Angela Bassett is lining up her next gig, one that will take her behind the camera.

The actress will make her directorial debut with “United States,” an indie feature she will also produce with her Bassett/Vance Prods. partner and husband, Courtney B. Vance.

“States,” based on the novel “Erasure” by Percival Everett, is a dramatic comedy about Monk Ellison, a prominent black literary figure who writes a faux autobiography from the perspective of a barely literate hoodlum to decry what is wrong with the glorification of “ghetto” culture. But when the book is lauded as a possible contender for the National Book Award, he must choose between pride and fame.

Dwayne Johnson-Cochran wrote the adaptation. “States” will be the first project produced by Bassett/Vance.

On the big screen, Bassett recently appeared in the Notorious B.I.G. biopic “Notorious” and “Akeelah and the Bee.”

Vance, who received Tony nominations for his stage work in “Fences” and “Six Degrees of Separation,” is set to star in the ABC sci-fi pilot “Flash Forward.” He also has joined the cast of the Harrison Ford-starring feature “Crowley.”

Bassett and Vance work together on “ER.”