A few weeks before the Oscars, King — who has amassed a clutch of television directing credits, including Insecure and This Is Us — had just met with producers about helming her first feature film, One Night in Miami. “My agent called and said, ‘They’re going to roll with you, they don’t want to see anybody else,’ ” she recalls before launching into a series of big grins, shoulder shimmies, fist pumps, and a slide down in her chair. The 48-year-old L.A. native sits up with a laugh and says reassuringly, “It was my driving version of that. I did pull over. 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.’ ”
In perhaps the world’s best having-cake/eating-it-too scenario imaginable, King nabbed that mofo for her steely and anguished turn in If Beale Street Could Talk. And it just got better from there, with her deservedly buzzed-about performance as Tulsa police detective Angela Abar (a.k.a. Sister Night) on HBO’s Watchmen, the provocative series from Damon Lindelof that picks up the action in the world of the beloved graphic novel three decades later.
After appearing on the showrunner’s The Leftovers, King was down to suit up for him again. “[Lindelof] had the script delivered with a lovely note, saying that he sees me as this and would I take this ride with him,” she recalls on a recent Sunday morning during her EW cover shoot. “I started reading the pilot and five pages in I was like, ‘Oh, oh, he’s going here? Black Wall Street?’” she says of the harrowing opening scene depicting 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?’”
The gallery has been updated with HQ photo stills and HD screencaptures of Regina King in the latest episode of Watchmen. Take a look and enjoy!
The gallery has been updated with HQ photo stills and HD Screencaptures of Regina King in the latest episode of Watchmen. Take a look and enjoy!
HBO’s series is both a celebration and condemnation of onscreen heroes, so IndieWire spoke to King about her remarkable role that can’t betray reality.
When viewers are first introduced to Sister Night — the heroic moniker chosen by Regina King’s “Watchmen” character, Angela Abar — she drives to her secret hideout, dons her leather uniform, and speeds to a local trailer park. As the music pulses and her long coat swirls in the wind, Sister Night kicks in a door, punches the napping Tulsa citizen square in the face, and drags the guy into her trunk, all without a warrant or even a warning.
“I’ve got a nose for white supremacy,” she tells her boss, Chief Crawford (Don Johnson). “And he smells like bleach.”
Shortly thereafter, wouldn’t you know it, Sister Night is proven right. The guy is working for the white supremacist group who just shot one of her fellow officers. When she looks at her boss, she doesn’t need to say much. Just one word: “Bleach.”
Every second of this extended sequence, from Angela’s transformation into Sister Night up through the interrogation of her suspect, is fucking cool. It’s exciting. It’s clever. It’s the kind of television that makes you chuckle to yourself because you’re watching awesome people do awesome things. And yet, like just about everything else in “Watchmen,” there’s another side to that coin. Sister Night didn’t just go out and catch a bad guy; Angela Abar illegally broke into a private home and beat down a fellow citizen, using her shield as a free pass because she had a hunch — because she “smelled bleach.”
When asked about how easy it would be for that line to sound too scripted, too unnatural, too cool, King remembers the challenge behind it right away.
“[Someone could easily] fuck it up!” she said in an interview with IndieWire. “Look, to be honest, that’s the beauty of editing. The first couple deliveries felt like, ‘Yeah… drawing out ‘bleach’ doesn’t work because I’m hearing myself say it.’ I feel like that’s a sign I pay attention to: If I feel like I’m hearing myself saying the dialogue, then I’m saying the dialogue — I’m not internalizing it. I’m not being it. It’s not actually me.”
Read the full article/interview in our press library.
Thanks to my friend Sarah, the gallery has been updated with several HQ photo stills of Regina King from various episodes of Watchmen. Take a look and enjoy!