Regina King has been in the Hollywood publicity circuit for the past few weeks to promote the highly anticipated Amazon Prime movie, One Night in Miami. The movie, which is about a night after heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay's (not yet Muhammad Ali) fight, where he, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and football star/actor Jim Brown all come together in a hotel room in Miami where they discuss the world they live in, their legacy, and race.
The movie has gained Oscar buzz thanks to the powerful performances that showcase each of these kings and how they dealt with the ever-changing world they live in. And the buzz makes sense since King is behind the camera and calling all the shots.
But unfortunately, getting the movie to meet her high standards wasn't easy.
Her toughest moments came when it was time to cast the characters. She told Insider:
"I'd say my biggest concern of casting were Malcolm and Cassius because none of those four have been photographed or videoed more than those two. There were some actors who felt because of the performances by Denzel [Washington] and Will [Smith] that there was no need to do this movie, but I would remind them that this is not a biopic."
She also let us know she isn't with the shortcuts, she's only looking to do the process right. She continued:
"Some actors with bigger names had interest in the roles and just weren't interested in auditioning. And I was not interested in seeing anyone that didn't want to audition. I have a whole lot riding on this and I knew that it took actors who truly understood that they were not doing an impersonation. All four of these actors knew that."
Additionally, in her 2019 her Golden Globe speech, King vowed to ensure that 50% of the crews on her movies would be women, a goal she fell slightly short of, depending on who you ask.
"We weren't able to accomplish [our goal], but we definitely tried. But what we were able to accomplish was that well over 50% of our crew were people that did not identify as cis white male[s]. From the moment of me making that proclamation, to us actually shooting, so much had happened just in gender bias and how people identify; it is not respectful to regard everything as male or female. So moving forward, as I do still feel like having more women in positions behind the camera is important, I have to go beyond that."
Exactly the kind of due diligence we'd expect from a largely decorated, sought after, and culturally celebrated queen.
Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
Featured image via Giphy