Regina King is having a great year.
In 2019, King won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk. She then was selected to direct her first feature film, One Night in Miami. As if that was not enough, she has scored a major buzz in HBO’s Watchmen, where she plays Tulsa police detective Angela Abar, better known as “Sister Night.”
All year long, she has been doing her thing.
Entertainment Weekly interviewed the star about her incredible year and her impressive career – from the early days with cult-classic, Boyz n the Hood, to her voice work on The Boondocks and everything in between. She is it and people are noticing.
King, who has directed for TV episodes on Insecure and This Is Us, was excited at the possibility of getting a big screen directorial debut when her agent called. It was just before the Oscars and King told EW she had just met with producers from One Night in Miami.
The screen version of One Night in Miami is based off of the play by Kemp Powers, a fictional story that’s centered on a very real date – Feb. 25, 1964, the day that Cassius Clay became the World Heavyweight Boxing champion. The play supposes that Clay celebrates his win with friends, Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, and football legend, Jim Brown inside of a segregated hotel in Miami and that after that night, the men vow “a change is gonna come” (of course playing off the legendary song).
“My agent called and said, ‘They’re going to roll with you, they don’t want to see anybody else,’ ” King, 48, told EW. “I can say it now, I was like, ‘If I don’t win the motherf—ing Oscar, that is okay. I’m about to do a film.’ ”
Yaasssss! This confidence and self-love and spice is what we have come to love about King. It’s on full display in Watchmen, from Damon Lindelof.
After acting in The Leftovers, King was already interested in what came next. This is when she received a script from Lindelof.
“[Lindelof] had the script delivered with a lovely note, saying that he sees me as this and would I take this ride with him,” King told EW. “I started reading the pilot and five pages in I was like, ‘Oh, oh, he’s going here? Black Wall Street?’” she says discussing Watchmen’s opening scene showing the 1921 Tulsa massacre. “I had to just sit with that for a second because it had been something that my sister and I, for a long time, had been like, ‘Why hasn’t this story been told?’”
Balancing all of her projects has kept her busy throughout the year. No… Busy would be the wrong word. It has kept her productive, which would be a better adjective. The work that she has put forth is basically soil, fertile ground for all that is coming next year. And we are here for it.
We never needed Entertainment Weekly to tell us how “bomb” she is. We’ve known since she was Brenda Jenkins in the Black family’s sitcom canon, 227, that she was a force to be reckoned. Dang on shame it has taken the world 35 years to catch up.