Right after winning the Academy Award for her acting, King directed her debut feature film to three Oscar nominations. Is there anything this woman can’t do?

“I try not to question the universe,” Regina King, 50, tells EW during her L.A. photo shoot in early March.

Her feature directorial debut, One Night in Miami…, imagining the real-life meeting of four Black icons in 1964, arrived during a period marked by isolation. She laments not being able to see it in a theater, never getting the chance to take a group photo with her quartet of actors: Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Eli Goree. But, she says, there’s “beauty in the bruises… when I get emails, or texts, or people just walking down the street expressing how the film hit them.”

While the awards-season regular, who’s won an Oscar and four Emmys over the past six years, isn’t in contention for a directing Academy Award this year, her film still netted three nominations, never before done by an Oscar-winning actor for their first movie. “She required that we gave her our best on the floor,” double-nominee Odom (Supporting Actor, Original Song) says on behalf of the cast. “What she returned to us in the final version of the film was something beautiful.”

EW spoke with King about her next chapter.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: To start, how has the social aspect of this particular awards season been different?
REGINA KING: To be completely honest, it’s been tough. Because, if you talked to me at the end of 2019, beginning of 2020, I was going into it anticipating sneaking into the movie theater to get that shared experience that only a movie theater can give you. I was looking forward to what that was going to feel like, and I still don’t know. It looks as though, for my first film, I will never know. It’s a little sad that I don’t have any photographs [of] myself and the foursome, which we would have had. We would have started at Venice Film Festival with all of us together, you know?

How have you been maintaining morale when you’re not seeing each other at awards shows each weekend?
I’ve gotten emotional with them a few times when we’re all on a Zoom together, because it’s just not the same. I got the opportunity to see Aldis the other day and that felt so good. To be able to see him for the first time since we were shooting, share some joy together, it did my soul some good.

Read the full interview/article in our press library.

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