Regina King: Acting and on to the Director’s Chair

Regina King

Regina King has been in front of the camera since age 13 playing on the 1980s family sitcom 227 and now she is in the Director’s Chair.

Veteran actress Regina King is now building her career in the director’s chair. King has called the shots for the cast and crew of Animal Kingdom on the new dramatic series on TNT. The new series is centered around Ellen Barkin’s character who is the matriarch of a family of outlaws in Southern California. Animal Kingdom is based on an Australian movie and includes four sons who live with Barkin’s character. It includes a ranch-style house filled with skateboards, surfboards and a functioning swimming pool on the Warner Bros.’ backlot in Burbank California.

Regina King was recently a guest director and she had to not only match the tone of the show, but add some of her own touches. The Jerry Maguire actress, King said, “I like control.” When Ellen Barkin first found out about Regina King guest directing she said, “I was like, that’s not gonna work out for me. I can’t act for Regina King,” Barkin continued, “I’m way too intimidated. I’d be shy and worried that she could do it better than me. It all worked out and both Barking and King enjoyed working together.”

John Wells who is the creator of Animal Kingdom hired Regina King as he was so impressed by her acting and guest directing on a prior show of his called Southland. Wells had this to say about King, “I had no doubts that she would be able to do it, because of who she is. She is very intelligent and also empathetic and she can be tough without seeming unpleasant, in some way.” Wells continued, “The problem she has as a director is she’s such a damn good actor, so it’s — when is she gonna find the time to do it?”

We can now add Regina King to the list of a few African-American women who are directing in Hollywood. King said, “You know, I fall into the double minority,” King added. “And I recognize how many women directors got a lot of feet in the teeth for me to get to where I am. They were treated really, really, terribly on sets. I have been lucky.” Are you watching the rise of Regina King in the director’s chair?