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Regina King: "Comfort Zones Are Where Dreams Go To Die"

The Watchmen star lets us in on the secret to getting unstuck.

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Regina King has been acting for as long as (or in my case, even longer than) most of us have been alive and after 34 years in the industry, the three-time Emmy-winner is playing her most unique role yet in the upcoming HBO Watchmen series (October 20). And as the cover star of Marie Claire's November 2019 issue, Regina is stunning us with her superhero moment. But there was a time when this ass-kicking action hero only dreamed of becoming a dentist.

"My desire to be a career actor was not always my desire. I thought I was going to be a dentist. It's funny because I've dated only one guy with not-so-great teeth, and I dated him for a minute. I never said anything, and after we broke up, he gets his teeth fixed."

Thanks to Regina's mom, the one-day actress was exposed to the arts early in life, and after seeing Eartha Kitt on stage in her childhood, she later ditched her dreams of dentistry and realized that performing was her destiny. After starting her career in the industry at only 14-years old, Regina says that the most important key to consistently slaying the game without getting stuck is stepping outside of the box:

"What's next, you know? I'm very good at choosing what needs to stay with me and what things need to be let go of. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the moment and we don't ever leave that moment, and that's how some people get stuck. I don't know if you ever heard me say, 'Comfort zones are where dreams go to die.'"

From her roles as Riley and Huey Freeman to her directorial work on shows like Being Mary Jane, Scandal, and Greenleaf, Regina has proven both on and off screen that she's a force to be reckoned with and her most recent role as Angela Abar on Watchmen is no different.

While being an ass-kicking, crime fighting vigilante has always been a dream for Regina, she never thought she would be doing it at 48 years old. She told Marie Claire:

"Sister waited until she was almost 50 to be a superhero. It's something I've always wanted to do, you know, be a woman physically kicking ass."

Earlier this year, Regina made a viral speech at the Golden Globes where she announced her mission to make Hollywood a more inclusive space for women, and according to Regina, she's making good on that promise by refusing to turn the other cheek:

"Turn the other cheek? I don't quite believe that. I do believe that sometimes you're supposed to turn the other cheek, sometimes they're supposed to get smacked back, sometimes they're supposed to get knocked the fuck out, you know? And taking that moment to assess the situation will help you."

To read Regina's full interview, click here.

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Featured image by Giphy

Originally published October 24, 2019.

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My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

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Mamie's story of courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy deserves to be told--especially as we continue the fight for civil rights today. Knowing that the Black filmmakers behind the film are centering Black joy and aiming for our empowerment through the film makes a world of difference.

TILLis in theaters October 14.

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