In an industry not known for its longevity, particularly for females, the long, successful career of Regina King is inspiring. For 30 years, she’s not only continued to keep working in critically acclaimed TV and movie projects, her star continues to rise. She got her start as a teenager on the hit sitcom 227, and over the years, standout roles in projects such as Jerry Maguire, Ray, Enemy of the State, The Big Bang Theory and American Crime followed.
But it’s her latest role that may finally make her the megastar many believe this talented woman has always been destined to be. King, 47, is starring in the new film If Beale Street Could Talk, and her performance in the film has already earned her a Golden Globe award and is generating Oscar buzz. The film is based on a James Baldwin book and is directed by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins. Set in Harlem in the 1970s, it tells the story of a young couple in love, struggling to prove the man is innocent of a crime. King plays the young woman’s mother, supporting her daughter as she learns she’s pregnant.
King talks to Growing Bolder about this powerful film, explaining how she found inspiration for her role from her mom, a special-ed teacher who raised King as a single parent.
She also talks about the power she feels as she ages and how she’s using that power to effect real gender equality change, including her Golden Globes night vow to make sure all her projects in the next several years feature at least 50 percent women. King runs a production company called Royal Ties with her sister, Reina, and has directed episodes of some of the most successful shows on TV, including This Is Us, Scandal and Shameless.