Is Athena Grant From '9-1-1' Based On A Real Person? Angela Bassett Brings The Character To Life

Ad failed to load

Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have collaborated once again to create an all new procedural drama titled 9-1-1. The new series will follow first responders in Los Angeles as they deal with various crises throughout the city. The show will specifically look at firefighters, police officers, and the people who answer those 911 calls. One of the lead characters is Athena Grant (Angela Bassett), a sergeant in the police force. So is Athena Grant from 9-1-1 based on a real person?

Although the show is based on the real-life experiences of emergency responders, Athena doesn't appear to be based on one specific person. It's more so that she is a culmination of a lot of emergency responders and what she'll go through in the show is most likely what many police officers have faced on and off the job.

Murphy recently revealed to The New York Post that the cases on the show are "based on viral videos or international cases that we read about and were obsessed over." Therefore, although the characters may not be based on real people, the events that occur on the show do have some element of truth to them. Even though Athena wasn't based on a real person, it was a role Murphy specifically chose for Bassett.

Ad failed to load
9-1-1 on FOX on YouTube

Murphy and Falchuk have worked with Bassett a number of times on their anthology series, American Horror Story. Bassett appeared in Season 3-6 of the series and garnered two Emmy nominations for her roles as Desiree Dupree in Freak Show and Marie Laveau in Coven.

When discussing why he offered Bassett the lead on 9-1-1 with The New York Post, Murphy said, "I like her when she's emotional and I love it when she takes charge. Putting her in a family drama along with a workplace drama merges those two things into one superstar package." While the workplace drama is obvious, the family drama has been kept well under wraps. All that's known thus far is Athena's husband Michael (Rockmond Dunbar) will make a life-changing announcement in the pilot that will rock Athena's world. Based on the trailers, it also looks like Athena and Michael have a daughter.

Ad failed to load

Whatever it is Michael has to say, it's definitely going to have a huge impact on Bassett's character, and it'll be interesting to see how Athena separates her drama at home from what she has to deal with at work. Especially because Athena will also be interacting with the series' other leads: phone operator Abby Clark (Connie Britton) and firefighter Bobby Nash (Peter Krause). Looking at the promotional photos for the premiere episode, it doesn't seem like Athena and Bobby will be getting off on the right foot. Whatever the issue is, hopefully they'll be able to overcome it so they can do their jobs, which, is of course, to save lives.


Abby and Bobby will also be dealing with their own issues at home. Abby appears to be taking care of someone, possibly her mother, who's ill and Bobby seems to be struggling under the weight of what his job sometimes entails. In the trailer, he's seen trying to stop a woman from committing suicide, but he's unsuccessful.

Ad failed to load

Also starring in the series are Oliver Stark as firefighter Evan "Buck" Buckley, Aisha Hinds as firefighter Henrietta "Hen" Wilson, and Kenneth Choi as Howie Chimney Han. The cast is pretty diverse and filled with incredible stars who will surely bring all these characters to life in a way that will instantly get viewers hooked. Therefore it seems fair to say Murphy and Falchuk have another hit on their hands, but if you don't believe me you can watch it and see for yourself.

9-1-1 premieres Wednesday, Jan. 3 on FOX at 9 p.m. EST right after The X-Files. You won't want to miss it!

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills