Regina King, in real life, is just as versatile as the roles she plays—from 227’s typical teenager Brenda Jenkins to Southland’s tough detective Lydia Adams. She is currently the voice of Huey and Riley Freeman on The Boondocks and recently made her directorial debut with Jaheim’s “Finding My Way Back.”
VIBE.com caught up with the actress to find out if The Boondocks will see another season and what’s next for her directing career. ⎯Starrene Rhett
Photo by Kirstin Knufmann
VIBE: How did you end up directing Jaheim’s “Finding My Way Back?”
Regina King: We met at Mo’Nique’s show. We exchanged info, texted back and forth and he asked me if I would be in the video and I told him I would be in it if I could direct it. He said, “Sure” and I said, "Give me a couple of days to write the treatment and put the concept together and I’ll get back to you."
Were you already a fan of his music?
I’m a huge Jaheim fan. If it had been any other artist I probably would have just said thanks for asking but no because I don’t have the desire to be in any videos⎯not downing anyone that does⎯that’s just personally not what I want to do. And the fact that it was Jaheim is probably what made it come to my mind to counter with “I’ll be in it if I can direct it.”
You took him away from his R&B-thug type image.
I’ve just personally never seen any videos that showed Jaheim in a naturally sexy element but his music is all of that⎯it's naturally sexy. He’s that perfect combination of that voice between Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass. He’s one of those few artists that you can listen to the whole album with all his albums. There are very few artists that fall in that category where you know you’re gonna get a new album. But if you watch a Jaheim video, he almost falls into a rapper type category and his music is so much bigger than that, it’s much more mature, so I felt like I could do something with that.
Was Jaheim a gentleman on set?
He was great, I couldn’t have asked for a better subject. He dug the idea of telling a story and he was really open and said that he’s interested in acting himself, one day. So anything I asked of him, he was open to do.
When are you directing your first movie?
I’m in the process of trying to get financing. This is probably the story of half of the actors that you’ll talk to who have been in the business for a long time who are stepping behind the camera. But my plan is to direct my first feature film this summer. It’s a book called Let the Church Say Amen and it was written by a woman named ReShonda Tate Billingsley. It was an Essence best seller and a couple of her other books were national best sellers. It’s a story that appeals to 18- to 60-year-olds because it takes place in the Church. I’ve done research and saw that 60 percent of the films that were top-grossing films in the past two years have been PG or PG 13 films so my feeling is that if for my directorial debut my film is where people who are 18 will come out and see and people who are 60 will come out and see it, then that will open the door for the next directorial feature. I’m continuously talking about it because I’m one of those people that believes that if you put it out into the universe then you’ll attract it. So that’s my mission right now. I’m working on locking down the second half of this financing and have it complete before I go back to work on Southland.
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