May 2001
ON THE COVER : A Q & A with Regina King

Regina King

ON THE COVER : A Q & A with Regina King

By Wilson Morales (New York)


Answer These films all showcased the talents of Regina King. You better pay attention because Regina King is a superstar and you should know that.

Isnít it a treat to see a young actress grow into a bonafide full-time Star? Of course there are some that grow into problems but not this former 227 star. Not only has King starred opposite Chris Rock in DOWN TO EARTH, she is also co-producing a film called MY TRIBE IS LOST.

Whatís it like working with Chris Rock?

It is great. Chris is one of those comedians that doesnít push hard for the laugh. He has a natural, funny perspective. Being able to talk to him, converse with him is great because you feel the conversation is real as opposed to someone talking at you because theyíre performing for you as theyíre talking.

Had you seen the 2 previous films that this film is based on?

No I havenít. I saw HEAVEN CAN WAIT before we shot the movie about a month ago and have yet to see HERE COMES MR. JORDAN.

Do you have a preference between comedy and drama?

I would say that Iím more of a dramatic actress. I donít think Iíll ever do like over the top comedy. I do like dramatic pieces that have a comedic edge, like ALMOST FAMOUS.

What are you doing next?

Iím co-producing a movie, a coming of age piece called MY TRIBE IS LOST and although I was trying to stay away from playing a mother again, this role spoke to me. A charming story that is told through the eyes of a 9 year old boy during a couple of years of life (69-70) in Chicago. His parents moved from the south side of Chicago to the north side. This is a true story. Steven Spielberg bought the rights to this before he bought Dreamworks, but it got lost in the shuffle.

Who plays the boy?

Weíre still casting and the actor will have to be 9 years old. It will be a great opportunity to come out and shine.

You got your start on TV playing opposite Marla Gibbs on 227. How difficult was it making the transition to films being a child star?

It wasnít really that difficult because it was never like a transition I had to make. My mother kept my life pretty normal by sending me to a public high school and doing extra curricular activities.

Did you always know you wanted to be an actress?

Oh yeah, definitely. Probably when I was 6 or 7. I was always reciting poems or putting on some type of show or recording myself and playing it back for myself or acting out characters from soap operas. Just always performing.

Do you find that a lot of roles come to you because of the exposure you had with high profile actors such as Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and Cuba Gooding Jr.?

Well, I had to audition for ENEMY OF THE STATE. Will Smith said that when he and Tony Scott sat down, Tony asked him who he would want to play his wife and Will said Regina King, but I still auditioned. I auditioned for JERRY MCGUIRE. For this film, I read with Chris. I like reading parts that are different from my last role. This role is different than POETIC JUSTICE. This was an opportunity to add another character to my work.

What surprised you the most about working with Chris?

Nothing really because I was getting to know him. You go into the experience very open-minded. Iím very proud of his dedication to the things he does.

Whatís your opinion on your character dating not only a white man but, a guy well into his 60ís?

Him being white was no issue, being in his 60ís is another thing. I had to remember that Iím falling in love with Chris. Itís just that his physical appearance is white. Honestly, normally this wouldnít happen with Regina but with the character.

What is next?

I donít have anything coming out. This is the first movie Iíve done since my son was actually in school. Heís 5 years old now. I was flying in and out. Not enough time cooking dinner. I just sat and enjoyed being a mom.