The gallery has been updated with HQ digital scans of Regina King on her cover for Vanity Fair. Enjoy!
I was a child the first time I saw Regina King onscreen, and she was a child too: The first thing I noticed about her character, Brenda Jenkins in 227, was that she looked like me. She wore her hair the way I did: large bangs falling across her forehead, top pulled back in a ponytail, hanging on the bottom, probably bumped with a curling iron. Her smile almost too big for her face. Even though 227 (1985–1990) wasn’t my favorite show, I liked watching it, mostly for Brenda, who resonated with me in a way the children of The Cosby Show or Good Times didn’t. The Cosby kids were too innocent, too precocious. The Good Times kids seemed kids in name and body only; so much of their actions and reactions were adult in orientation—too wise, too quick, too knowing. It is difficult to hit the sweet spot of truth writing children—they are often too naive and quirky, or too worldly. But through King, Brenda was the real deal. She was frank and inappropriate and funny and oblivious and messy and naive. She was genuine. There was much about her that I wanted for myself, most notably the ability to speak plainly from her perspective to adults, which was something I never saw in my world.
The next time I saw King onscreen, in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood (1991) she had grown up, and so had I. Shalika, Doughboy’s outspoken friend, was my teenage opposite in almost every way: from her fashion, bold and confident, to her demeanor, brimming with agency. She took up space with her sharp mouth, her cutting eyes. She was quick to go blow for blow in spats with Doughboy, refusing to be demeaned or shamed. I envied her power of assertion even as I hid in plain sight in classrooms, under those childhood bangs. I lurked in libraries. In nearly every confrontation, I demurred. Rebuttals stuck like dry food in my throat. I wore shame like a shirt. In my secret teen heart, Shalika was everything I wanted to be.
Every time King is onscreen, she is real and immediate. There has always been an aspect of her characters I wanted for myself: Brenda’s humor, Iesha’s bluntness (Poetic Justice, 1993), Dana’s offhand humor (Friday, 1995), Margie’s passion (Ray, 2004), Sharon’s wisdom and tenderness (If Beale Street Could Talk, 2018), Angela’s self-assuredness (Watchmen, 2019), King’s own poise when she opened this year’s Oscars broadcast—a role she had only 24 hours to prepare for. King embodies her characters so fully, imbues them with such power, that it’s jarring to see her materialize on my computer screen, dressed casually. She seems smaller in real life, even in Zoom real life; something about the baseball cap she wears and the shifty focus of Zoom (no one knows where to look) gives her a guarded, vulnerable air.
King has been involved in many seminal Black projects in front of and behind the camera, all of which have informed my own life, and many of which were, like much Black American art, rooted in reality. Such art helps us confront and explore the realities of our existence; such art helps us navigate it. Her newer work seems to signal a flowering of experience beyond the real and into the surreal. Angela Abar in Watchmen is a superheroine. Erika Murphy’s world in The Leftovers is one shot through with mysticism. This, too, is a necessity; venturing into the fantastic enables us to envision what our lives could be.
Read the full interview/article in our press library.
I updated the gallery with HD Screencaptures of the Oscar Winning role of Regina King in “If Beale Street Could Talk”
In early 1970s Harlem, daughter and wife-to-be Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny. Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together, but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.
Regina King has nerves of steel. When just 24 hours before the Oscars director Steven Soderbergh told her she would not only open the show, but do so by having the camera follow her from the entrance into the auditorium with a walk “as long as a country mile,” she took it in stride. And in a pair of Stuart Weitzmans.
“I was like, wow, that’s a lot of pressure,” she said, speaking at the Kering Women in Motion series in Cannes. “Then when I got there he sent me an email with a note that said, ‘I hope you have good shoes.’”
During her speech onstage, King referenced the verdict of Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of the murder of George Floyd just days before the ceremony. “If things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis, I may have traded in my heels for marching boots,” she said, adding that the audience wants to be entertained and often doesn’t want to hear what actors have to say.
In a time of heightened celebrity activism, can — and should — they do both? “As human beings, we are capable of doing several different things. I think it’s unfortunate that sometimes celebrities are put in positions where they feel like they’re forced to have to be activists, and I feel like it’s unfortunate that celebrities are put in positions when they’re judged when they’re choosing to be activated or to do something about a particular cause or use their platform,” she said, speaking to WWD in a suite overlooking the sea.
The question was one of the central themes of “One Night in Miami,” her Oscar-nominated directorial debut. “I think it’s a battle that we always find ourselves [in], especially as Black artists.”
The Oscars ceremony’s ending award, widely tipped for the best supporting actor trophy to go to the late Chadwick Boseman instead of Sir Anthony Hopkins, was a disappointment to many. But King puts the so-called “snub” in perspective. “I think all of us have times of being disappointed when you don’t hear a name announced. Some people will argue, I’m sure, that Chadwick may have only been nominated because it was a posthumous nomination. You’re gonna have people that say all of those things. It was just one of those things where no one wins. And at the end of the day we don’t miss Chadwick any more or less, you know, there’s a big gaping hole without him here.”
Two days ago, Regina King participated to the Cadillac Femme Forward in Film event during which she had a conversation (I suppose) about her career. Hoping to find a video soon, meanwhile, enjoy the few HQ pictures I added to the gallery!
The gallery has been updated with missing images of Regina King from the movie “This Christmas” from 2007. Posters, behind the scenes, movie stills and screencaptures, find everything about this project and her role. Enjoy!
At holiday time, family matriarch Ma’Dere Whitfield assembles her large brood for their first reunion in four years. However, family ties show signs of strain when various secrets come to light, especially concerning Marine Claude’s true military status, Quentin’s debts and teenage Baby’s secret plans to become a singer.
Last night in Cannes probably the stars thought they didn’t need to shine because there was someone shining and lighting the room for them, and that someone was undoubtedly Regina King. Enjoy the pictures I added to the gallery.