Regina King On the Inspiration Behind Her Emmy-Nominated Role in HBO’s “Watchmen” Amidst Growing Oscar Buzz for Her Feature Film Directorial Debut in “One Night In Miami”

Regina King is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Angela Abar, the Tulsa police detective known as Sister Night on the award winning HBO series, Watchmen. Although the superhero drama is an adaptation of the DC Comics under the same name, the Academy Award-winning King defined her role without reading the original comic books.

“The blueprint that was the inspiration for Angela was probably every Black woman that ever was,” King said in an interview with Los Angeles Time. “I tapped into all those things I think are just wonderful about being a Black woman. I know I’m going to get a lot of backlash for this, but that term “Black Girl Magic” … it’s not my favorite thing that people use to describe the accomplishments and wonderful things that Black women do. Because it’s not magic. It’s actually work! It’s carrying the load. And that load is heavy. With Angela, I asked: What is she doing to make sure she’s being loved on? And what is she not doing? She has created this little protective bubble that is always in jeopardy of being burst. A lot of people can relate to that, but it’s specifically the experience of a Black woman.”

“The history of what Black women have done: birthing children that they never got a chance to mother or could never show in public that they were their mother. Clean the toilets and cook for the people that raped them and took them away from family, but still managing a smile and loving on that child that was a product of rape. That’s not magic. That’s remarkable. But a lot of pain is inherited and carried.”

The actress, director, and writer has previously won three Emmy awards. In 2015 and 2016 King won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in ABC’s American Crime, and again in 2018 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in Netflix’s Seven Seconds. Recently, her feature film directorial debut One Night in Miamimade history as the first African-American female directed film to premiere at the Venice Film Festival. She will next appear in a one-night only reading, with an all black cast, of the television classic The Golden Girls to raise awareness for civil rights organization Color of Change.