Angela Bassett
Credit: Barry King/FilmMagic

Depending on who you ask, the secret to hosting a killer dinner party is arguably found in a one-of-a-kind bottle of wine or multiple rounds of delectable savory and sweet courses. But for American Horror Story: Hotel star Angela Bassett, it’s all about the guest list. “Truly putting together the right mix of people,” she tells InStyle of her party hosting M.O.

“To me, it’s about the people setting the atmosphere, making everybody feel welcome and loved with really great folks who are interesting and converse, and they like people and we talk, and a little music and you move and dance and carry on,” she adds. “That’s what I like when I throw parties, that I have just the people I know in all these different areas—you pull them together; they’re just very interesting people and they get on. I just sit back and marvel.”

The actress may joke about being on a “level playing field” with Julia Roberts, whom she recently approached at a party where the two exchanged adorable photos of their kids; but don’t think fellow silver screen stars are the only people she’s interesting in chatting up. So who would she love to host a party for? “Idris Elba!” she says. “I just think he’s cute. I think he’s talented. OK, talented and cute.”

Bassett also particularly admires First Lady Michelle Obama. “She’s like, she don’t take no mess. She’s down to earth—take your shoes off, let’s dance, my feet hurt, take the shoes off and just going to do her thing,” she says of Obama’s relaxed candor. “[She] breaks molds, breaks ideas and perceptions about the White House and the lady in the White House and still be gorgeous and strong, physically strong, mentally strong, intellectual, and a great mother… She’s truly who she is, which gives others strength to be true to themselves.”

Sounds like the makings for an incredible dinner party—now, when can we expect our invite?