I would say Regina King has been having a well-deserved moment, but that moment has been going on for five or six years now. The critically-acclaimed actress has been working regularly since the mid-90s, but over the last decade, especially half decade, the size of her roles and the recognition she’s gotten for them have grown exponentially. She’s won 4 Emmys, an Oscar and a Golden Globe since 2015, all for parts in movies or television shows that tackle issues related to social justice, police officers or the prison system. She was recently asked about those recurring themes and confirmed it’s definitely an intentional choice.

The Watchmen star recently stopped by The Big Interview with Dan Rather for a sitdown to promote One Night In Miami, a wonderful film she directed that’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime. The full interview will air on AXS TV on Wednesday January 20th, but CinemaBlend was able to snag a first look in which she talked through why she’s picked so many movies that tackle social justice or the Black experience in America. Here’s what she said…

I got to a certain point in my career after a couple of jobs that just did not speak to the artist inside me, once I decided not to even go in on an audition that the subject matter, the story wasn’t something that spoke to the artist inside me, once I made the decision to start doing that, what I started realizing was the artist inside me and the experience I’ve had in my life Regina’s life on planet Earth, are all in one. Those are the stories that I was attracted to. It’s now, as a 49 year old woman, that I realize that those things were working together. They are in unison. If I don’t speak to the artist inside me I’m not being honest to myself. I’m not being a servant to the universe.

The majority of actors in Hollywood take what roles they can get. The projects they end up choosing are very directly related to the roles they’re offered. A small percentage of actors, however, are in the enviable position of having real choice over what they would like to do. Some choose the roles that pay the most money. Some choose roles that allow them to work with their friends. Some pick movies and TV shows that speak to the artist inside them. Most seem to find a balance of the above. Regina King has very specifically chosen the artist inside her option, and you can really tell in the majority of her more recent efforts how directly she connects to a lot of these parts. You can see her talking more about that below…

One Night In Miami is the first feature film directed by Regina King. It follows Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown as they all talk about their lives, popular culture and what’s important, each bringing their own perspectives and positions on the issues. It has been getting rave reviews, which isn’t a surprise given everything King has done lately has worked out really well. You can check out our very positive reaction here.

The Big Interview with Dan Rather airs on AXS TV. Earlier episodes have featured sitdowns with a wide variety of famous faces including Dolly Parton, Ice Cube, Lindsay Buckingham, Carlos Santana, Quentin Tarantino and more. More episodes are expected to be announced for later this year.

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