Article taken from The Hollywood Reporter.
The actress, up for entertainer of the year at Saturday’s NAACP Image Awards, says she’d be involved in a second season of the HBO series “if it was really smart” and opens up about her banner year.
Regina King’s acting career started in 1985 with the sitcom 227, and, through the decades, she’s delivered memorable roles in films (Boyz n the Hood, Jerry Maguire, Enemy of the State) and TV series (Southland, American Crime). But the past couple of years have been the most monumental of her career, from the 2018 Emmy win (her third) for her role on Netflix’s Seven Seconds to the 2019 Academy Award for supporting actress in If Beale Street Could Talk. Most recently, she starred on HBO’s breakout series Watchmen as police officer Angela “Sister Night” Abar, who ended the season as the most powerful woman in the world.
While the jury is still out on whether Watchmen will return for a second season, King, who has been directing episodic TV since 2015, will keep busy with a brand-new undertaking: directing her first feature film, an independent adaptation of the Kemp Powers stage play One Night in Miami, which started production in January.
King, 49, who is nominated for the NAACP Image Awards’ Entertainer of the Year for the second straight year in a row, spoke with THR about Watchmen, how she chooses her roles and what’s next in a vibrant and diverse career.
How would you characterize what 2019 meant for your career?
It was a fantastic year. It was quite busy and filled with a lot of firsts. It was my first time being nominated for an Oscar, winning an Oscar, it was my first time starring in a show that was part of a big franchise and a beloved comic book — a lot of firsts.
What’s your interest level in seeing Angela as Doctor Manhattan and a second season of Watchmen?
I can see myself being involved in a season two if it was really smart. I would need to know the beginning and the endgame, unlike how this season was. I did not know what the endgame was. I just totally trust [creator] Damon [Lindelof]. There’s a part of me that feels like … it’s just really hard to think we could top season one, you know?
What are you taking away from your experience on Watchmen as you embark on new projects?
It’s not just one thing. It’s all of it. I get into something because the story speaks to me. Once you’re in production, so many other things come up. You get to know people. You become a family. All those things carry with you until the next part of your life. Every single project becomes ingrained in your body. It becomes part of your DNA.
What are you discovering about yourself as you’re working on directing your first feature film?
More than anything, it’s that I have the energy to operate on too few hours of sleep for so many days in a row. (Laughs.) And when you’re making a dollar out of 15 cents, you get to see how everybody rises to the occasion and are able to dig deep in their own creative suitcases to make it all come together. It’s the process with something that’s a period piece and has a limited budget: You have to dig in even deeper and find more resources.
Who are some actors that have caught your attention recently?
Parasite was a really great film. I wasn’t familiar with any of those actors, and they’re all great. The actors who were in the play Slave Play were quite amazing. One of the actors, Joaquina Kalukango, I cast in [One Night in Miami].
How much do you consider your audience when picking your roles or exploring new genres?
I gravitate toward stories that are interesting to me. So far, so good. It’s worked out that way with my acting and so far with my directing, it’s the same way. I’m staying the course: What story is speaking to me? It really comes down to the story. If I’m lucky enough to check every genre that exists along the way in this thing called Regina’s life, then that would be the icing on the cake.