"It was exciting. It was thrilling," she told ABC News of getting the nomination. "You would think you'd scream or you just go, 'Oh my gosh.' So, I got very, very quiet because I couldn't believe [it]. It was astonishing, astounding. ... You dream it, you got your brush, you're going to say, 'Here's my Oscar speech,' and you couldn't believe that it really happened."
But it did.
Fast forward to the day of the ceremony, Bassett said that though the show started at 5 p.m., the day started much earlier for her.
"The Oscars are 5 p.m. but you're starting at 10 o'clock in the morning," she said.
She also recalls taking certain precautions to avoid any "nature calls."
"I remember stopping all liquids at 2 o'clock because I didn't want to miss a moment," she said. "I did not want to have to go the restroom. That was the era of big ballgowns because, you know, you felt like a princess. And I did not want to have to manage all of that in a stall at the Oscars and miss my category. Isn't that funny when that happens to people: 'I was in the bathroom'?"
Advice she offers to this year's nominees at the Oscars?
"You just want to take your time," she advised. "You don't want to be rushed getting out of the house. And of course with the girls, you have to do the whole, the hair and makeup. I went to a hotel -- I remember that. So you get out of your home space."
The Oscars ceremony airs Sunday on ABC at 7 p.m. ET.