2019 OSCARS BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW: REGINA KING

WINNER – ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – REGINA KING – IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

REGINA KING: Thank you, everybody.

Q. Oh, Regina, congratulations.

REGINA KING: Thank you.

Q. How sweet was it to have your mom there in the front row with you? Obviously, you gave much praise to her during your acceptance speech. What did it mean to you to have her there tonight?

REGINA KING: It’s hard to, like, put it in words really quickly. I feel like kind of like one of those full circle moments because so much of the character Sharon Rivers was mapped or inspired by my mother and my grandmother. So to have her there, my family was there, my sister, Reina, my son, Ian, were there. They are both here tonight. And it goes by so fast, and you want to thank so many people, and your mind just goes blank. And, you know, my mom was like the lighthouse right there. And…mmm, just everything.

Q. Congratulations.

REGINA KING: Thank you.

Q. Congratulations. Right here, Regina. Right here. Congratulations.

REGINA KING: Right.

Q. My real question is, Will you adopt me? At a time when we talk about anger and blame and placing shame on people

REGINA KING: Yes.

Q. how was it to get to say those words and play somebody who believed, you know, to the depth of their soul

REGINA KING: Yes.

Q. about love?

REGINA KING: Love. Persevering. I mean, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK is a beautiful film, a beautiful novel before it was thank you before it was a film you might be clapping for somebody else, but I’m going to take that. Thank you.
And where we are to your point, where we are right now, I think that’s it’s a film that is breaks through a lot of the sections that exist right now. You know, love is that thing that pushes us through trauma. You know, this is an urban tragedy, but tragedy is a is something that is experienced no matter what sex you are, no matter what race you are; and love and support is usually what pushes us through, which gets us to the other side. So I think this film is so needed right now because we need a lot of help getting through the other side and seeing how how much we are alike. We are different in a lot of ways. Absolutely. Our circumstances are so different; but it’s to the core, to the core, we are really a lot alike.

Q. Good evening, Regina King. Regina, right here. How are you? You look beautiful.

REGINA KING: Thank you.

Q. I saw the film in Harlem.

REGINA KING: Thank you.

Q. Congratulations. My question is to you: 400 years ago this year in 1619, the first slaves were brought to Jamestown. Talk to me a little bit about what it means to stand here today winning your first Academy Award, the same place where, you know, Hattie McDaniel, and so many others who may have been discounted?

REGINA KING: Well, I mean, it’s I mean, I think it kind of piggybacks on what we were just saying in the last question: That it means so much for me personally, because you guys aren’t able to witness this, but the love and support and the lifting up that I have received on my journey as an actor in just this last five months, how many people have been rooting for me, and it has not just been black people; although, you know, the black family has always lifted me. But it’s just a reminder of when Hattie McDaniel won. She didn’t win just because black people voted for her. She won because she gave an amazing performance. And especially then, the Academy was was not as reflective as it is now. We are still trying to get more reflective, still trying to get there. But I feel like I’ve had so many women that have paved the way, are paving the way, and I feel like I walk in their light, and I also am creating my own light. And there are young women that will walk in the light that I’m continuing to shine and expand from those women before me. You know, I’m blessed and highly favored.

Q. Hi, Regina.

REGINA KING: Hi.

Q. Congratulations.

REGINA KING: Thank you.

Q. That’s very well deserved.

REGINA KING: Thank you.

Q. So I’m thinking about that very climactic scene when you confronted you and Emily Rios

REGINA KING: Yes.

Q. and it’s such a visceral and emotionally raw scene. So I wanted to ask you, What particular source did you draw from to portray such emotion?

REGINA KING: You know, all of us, we just pulled on being women, and we have all been in if we have not experienced a violation on that level firsthand, we have lifted a sister up through that. And that, you know, even all the way from when the abuelitas came in and escorted her off, that was something that was universal. Every woman that had something to do with this production, the understanding and the need to make sure that it was very clear in the story that we all knew that she was raped. It wasn’t Fonny, but she was raped. And we hold each other up through a secret that shouldn’t be a secret. So often, that’s the beautiful thing about the Me Too Movement, and the Me Too Movement has I think have gone has gone even beyond that with creating opportunities for women to find their voice even beyond just being violated sexually, but being marginalized, being violated. When you have put in the work to be at the table and being denied a seat at the table, this movement has allowed us and has inspired us to say no, I am supposed to have a seat at that table. So that energy was going on throughout the production of that film of this film. Barry supported that and lifted it up as well. And that’s the thing. When you have men and women working together, pretty amazing things happen.

Q. Right here, Regina. Over here. Over here. How are you? I told you you had that winner’s dress on.

REGINA KING: You did say that.

Q. Congratulations. IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK was a very important part of American literature before this movie. What do you think James Baldwin would say right now and feel about this win and about the movie?

REGINA KING: I think one word, something that he would say often, amen.

Q. Thank you so much and congratulations.

REGINA KING: Thank you. Thank you.

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Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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