The Oscar-winner is playing a cape-swishing superhero in HBOs revamp of the epic comic book. She talks wage gaps, wardrobe woes and her dreams of becoming a dentist
Regina King had a hard time convincing some of her friends about Watchmen, her new HBO series inspired by the DC comic book of the same name and featuring the kind of details that make some people run for the exits: time travel, kung-fu fighting, masks and thinly veiled political allegory. Girl, dont do this, said one friend. King could only smile and agree.
But we would all do well to watch King in anything. At 48, she is in her prime. While filming Watchmen, King won the best supporting actress Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the James Baldwin novel. For years, she has been turning out quietly devastating portraits in the movies Jerry Maguire and Ray, in the TV show Southland with little public recognition. Now she has her pick of roles. I appreciate winning the Oscar, she says, but thats not the ultimate goal. I should be able to use it as currency moving forward.
King was not familiar with the original Watchmen material, nor the 2009 Zack Snyder movie (her 23-year-old son Ian is more excited about this role than any of Kings previous parts). But once she read the script, she was enthused. In Damon Lindelofs adaptation, the tales 1950s cold-war storyline is spun into a look at the rise of a white supremacist group in a parallel US. King plays Angela Abar, a cop with superhuman fighting skills and an amazing French Lieutenants Woman-style cape: not the kind of part she usually gets.