READ: Regina Hall Looks Back—and Forward

By Tiarra Mukherjee Mar 12, 2019

Since Regina Hall started her career in the mid 1990s, the 48- year-old actor has worked steadily in a number of comedic films. (Think: the whole "Scary Movie" franchise). But with the success of two recent films, Hall’s stock has taken a quantum leap: 2017’s “Girls Trip,” followed by last year’s “Supporting the Girls,” for which she won a New York Film Critics Circle Award (she was the first Black woman to do so in the 83-year history of the award).  

In an interview with The New York Times Magazine on March 11, Hall says she is happily poised to be a late bloomer, and dishes on some of the differences between Black Hollywood and the industry as a whole. “I guess there are lists in Hollywood. I was on the top of one before; now I’m on the bottom of a more difficult one,” she says. Explaining further: 


How would you characterize the difference between those lists? 


There are certain films with predominantly Black casts. The list of who’s considered for parts in those is a whole different one than the list of who’s considered for films with roles that could be played by anybody. I remember there was a script that I read that I loved, and my agent told me, “They went after Amy Adams, and she’s not doing it.” And I said, “I’ll do it!” And he was like, “They love you, but they’re going to Natalie Portman.” “Oh, right.” There’s always another.


I was listening to you on Michael Rapaport’s podcast, and you two had a digression about navigating Black Hollywood. In terms of your own career, how does Black Hollywood diverge from and intersect with Hollywood writ large?  


We have a support system. I was once with my business manager, I don’t remember where, and somebody was looking at me. I said, “They probably recognize me.” My manager goes, “Why would you say that?” “They’re Black.” “What does that mean?” “It means they’ve seen the movies!” Black audiences are what I’ve considered my base, and I will always make movies for that base.”

The actor, who once envisioned a career as a journalist and didn’t begin acting until her mid 20s, offers some juicy insider tidbits on what it’s like to work with Tiffany Haddish and Sanaa Lathan, her experiences parodying negative stereotypes about Black women as hypersexualized in “Scary Movie” and how she once considered becoming a nun. Hall also reveals some insights about her approach to spirituality. “My idea of success has changed,” she says. “Now I think about it more in terms of present-moment happiness than ‘if this happens then that might happen.’”  

Expect to see a lot of Hall in the next few months. She is currently starring in Showtime’s Wall Street satire “Black Monday,” and will appear on the big screen in two films this spring: She co-stars with Issa Rae in the comedy “Little,” which comes out in April, and will be in a “Shaft” sequel this June.

Read the whole article in The New York Times Magazine.