Regina Hall reveals that the death of her father led her to acting

Hollywood mainstay Regina Hall shares that she shifted her career from journalism to acting after the death of her father

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Regina Hall gets candid on how the death of her father impacted her life to shift careers from journalism to pursuing acting.

“It was his passing that really shifted how I looked at life. I realized how brief it can be and how suddenly it can change,” Hall said to Health magazine for their September 2021 cover issue. “That’s what led me to acting. The thing about feeling broken is that it forces you to be open — you feel like you don’t have much, so you don’t overthink everything.”

Regina Hall @ Essence fest
Getty Images

Hall’s father, Obie Hall, died of a stroke during her first semester while the actress was working on her master’s degree in journalism at New York University. Regina would eventually graduate in 1997 per her father’s wishes before his passing.

Since trading her journalism career for acting, the 50-year-old Girl’s Trip star has become a Hollywood favorite after appearing in over 40 films and television shows.

The Nine Perfect Strangers star began her career in 1997 taking on minor roles in commercials and daytime soap operas. Her breakout role would come in the 1999 film The Best Man. Hall’s portrayal of the character Candance “Candy” Sparks quickly became a fan favorite. She would then go on to co-starring alongside Sanaa Lathan in the 2000 romantic-sports drama, Love and Basketball.

Regina Hall
(Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

The early 2000s would solidify Hall as a fixture in Hollywood, with her cameo in the comedy-horror spoof Scary Movie as Brenda Meeks, with the sequels Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3, and Scary Movie 4 following. The franchise created by the Wayans Brothers, which became an instant cult classic and box office smash, is a parody that takes aim at the slasher genre, specifically movies such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Wes Craven’s Scream. Hall’s standout performance showcasing her impeccable comedic timing, not only made her one of the most memorable characters of the film’s franchise, but further excelled her career to superstardom.

“It’s really amazing for someone to even think about your character 20 years later. I look and go, ‘Oh, my God, look how young I was,” Hall said to about seeing the memes of her circulate. 

“Twenty years later, for people to still have such a connection to Brenda… I loved Brenda and I’m so happy I got to be able to play her. It’s funny to me because you don’t know what’s going to happen when you do a role — two decades later, for Brenda to, honestly, find a new audience. There’s just a whole new young audience that got to discover her so it’s fun for me.” 

Hall’s latest role is in Nine Perfect Strangers, which will premiere on Hulu Aug. 18. The movie focuses on a group of people coming to a luxurious wellness retreat to resolve their issues. Hall plays Carmel, a woman trying to cope with a divorce. Co-stars Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy play the roles of retreat director and fellow attendee.

When asked what drew her to this project, Hall told Health, “I am a big fan of Nicole Kidman. I think she’s tremendous. And I’m a big fan of Melissa McCarthy. I think she’s amazing. Then, of course, I read the script and I realized it was a Liane Moriarty book. I had loved Big Little Lies. Every time I read an episode I was like, ‘Wait, I want to know what happens in the next one.’ That’s always a good sign.”

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