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Regina King aims to give us all the feels

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Actor Regina King says being a mother and having a mother who sacrificed her own dreams for her children helped her prepare for her role in "If Beale Street Could Talk."

Posted: Feb 15, 2019 7:10 AM
Updated: Feb 15, 2019 7:10 AM

In one way, we all owe thanks to Sally Field for the wonder that is Regina King.

You see, it was Field's work in "Sybil" and "Norma Rae" that started King on a path toward acting.

King remembers watching Field in those two projects and thinking that the roles, so vastly different, didn't even feel like they were being played by the same person. But they were one magical performer.

"She made you laugh. She made you cry. She was sexy, she was charming," King says. "I felt so many emotions watching both of those movies, and I just was like, 'I want to make people feel like that.'"

These days, it'd be hard to find a person in film or television who hasn't at least once been thrown into an emotional blender because of King's work.

She can make you laugh; she can make you cry. She can be sexy and charming.

In her latest role in Barry Jenkins's "If Beale Street Could Talk," King plays Sharon Rivers, a matriarch whose spirit is as strong as her love for her family.

"I guess being a mother, having a mother that I love so much, understanding all the sacrifices that my mother made, some of her dreams she didn't follow so that my sister and I could follow ours, I have in a lot of ways probably been preparing for this role all my life," King says.

She's the emotional undercurrent in the film and illuminates the material born from the novel of the same name by James Baldwin.

We're not the only ones who think so. King is nominated for best supporting actress at the Academy Awards and has already won a Golden Globe for the role.

It was on the latter stage that King let her own determination guide her words as she vowed to, for the next two years, produce projects with a goal of 50/50 gender parity on set.

She challenged others to do the same.

"I got off of that stage feeling like, 'Okay, this is going to be a challenge,'" she admits.

But she's found support -- both from other artists and organizations that have long called for gender parity in Hollywood.

"I'm excited," she says. "I feel like I will walk out of 2019 having achieved that goal."

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