If you had talked to Regina King about her accomplished career earlier in her journey, the three-time Emmy Award-winning actress would’ve shied away from the praise. “I probably would have done something to deflect and not own up to the fact that I’ve worked really hard,” she told Variety as part of its recent “Women of Power” cover story. Now, she’s got a different response to praise: “I can say that I do deserve to be here without feeling like I’m being an a–,” she said. “I say that with all the gratitude that the universe has. I say that with all of that in my heart.”
The Watchmen and If Beale Street Could Talk star gives credit to Serena Williams for the sense of ownership she now feels over her accomplishments. Williams, King said, is inspiring “because she demands respect.”
“Who gives a f—k if you don’t like the way she yells when she’s hitting that ball, or the way she stands up for how she feels about a point being taken away, or reminds you of what she’s been through throughout this whole ride of their careers, or reminding you what the Williams sisters alone did for the tennis community,” said King. “She deserves all that she is receiving.”
Recognizing Williams’ right to reap the harvest of the decades of work she’s done helped King to keep that same energy when looking over her life.
“It’s because of women like her, it’s because of women like Ellen Pompeo vocally saying, ‘I appreciate the gifts, but I also worked hard for it. I didn’t just sit back, and they just landed in my lap. Blood, sweat and tears brought me here.’ So now, when you ask me that question [‘What does it mean to you to be offered roles like Watchman and If Beale Street Could Talk at this point in your career?’], I can say, ‘Actually yes, I deserve to be in this space.'”
You can read King’s full interview at Variety.