You can’t discuss iconic Black couples in Hollywood without mentioning wedded actors Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance. 

After 20 years of marriage, the couple knows a thing or two about making marriage work, no matter how hectic their schedules can be, and for that, the Oscar-nominated actress is thankful. 

Talking to PEOPLE, Bassett revealed that she appreciates her husband for his support for her both as an actress and a wife. 

“For me, I know he’s a phenomenal person and actor and that’s what he’s gifted to do,” said Bassett. “And for me, it’s always about allow[ing] you to, you know, follow your muse, and he allows me. It’s not like I expect this, I expect that from you; Dinner on the table every day, or this, that and the other. I have to go sometimes. I can’t be there sometimes, and he steps in there. He’s right there.”

The couple first met at the Yale School of Drama, but they didn’t get together right away.

“We met in drama school and I was a little ahead of him,” she recalled. “I was two years ahead of him and we weren’t together then. He had a beautiful, beautiful girlfriend at the time, who was also in drama school with us. So maybe about 14 years later, our paths crossed here in Los Angeles. And I was single, he was single. And I had such an appreciation for him over those years — of his consistency, how he treated other people, of what a supporter he is, what a connector of people and ideas he is, how passionate he is.”

Bassett and Vance wed in 1997 and together welcomed twins Bronwyn and Slater, 12, in 2006. Of all the things she loves most about her husband, the Black Panther star boasts that along with the Emmy-winner being an amazing father, he’s also silly and grounded too. 

“All you have to do is tell him to step in and he shows up for you,” said Bassett. “Not just for me, but for any of his friends, whoever he loves or whatever mentee may reach out to him. He steps up and steps in for you.”