Skip to main content

91st Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

SPEECH BY: Regina King


Download Video


A. Thank you, everybody. 

Q. Oh, Regina, congratulations. 
A. Thank you. 

Q. How sweet was it to have your mom there in the front row with you?  Obviously, you gave much praise to her during your acceptance speech.  What did it mean to you to have her there tonight?
A. It's hard to, like, put it in words really quickly.  I feel like    kind of like one of those full circle moments because so much of the character Sharon Rivers was mapped or inspired by my mother and my grandmother.  So to have her there, my family was there, my sister, Reina, my son, Ian, were there.  They are both here tonight.  And it goes by so fast, and you want to thank so many people, and your mind just goes blank.  And, you know, my mom was like the lighthouse right there.  And...mmm, just everything.   

Q. Congratulations. 
A. Thank you. 

Q. Congratulations.  Right here, Regina.  Right here.  Congratulations. 
A. Right.

Q. My real question is, Will you adopt me?  At a time when we talk about anger and blame and placing shame on people   
A. Yes.

Q.    how was it to get to say those words and play somebody who believed, you know, to the depth of their soul  
A. Yes.
Q.    about love? 
A. Love.  Persevering.  I mean, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK is a beautiful film, a beautiful novel before it was    thank you    before it was a film    you might be clapping for somebody else, but I'm going to take that.  Thank you. 
And where we are    to your point, where we are right now, I think that's it's a film that is    breaks through a lot of the sections that are    exist right now.  You know, love is that thing that pushes us through trauma.  You know, this is an urban tragedy, but tragedy is a    is something that is experienced no matter what sex you are, no matter what race you are; and love and support is usually what pushes us through, which gets us to the other side.  So I think this film is so needed right now because we need a lot of help getting through the other side and seeing how    how much we are alike.  We are different in a lot of ways.  Absolutely.  Our circumstances are so different; but it's to the core, to the core, we are really a lot alike.

Q. Good evening, Regina King.  Regina, right here.  How are you?  You look beautiful. 
A. Thank you. 

Q. I saw the film in Harlem.
A. Thank you.

Q. Congratulations.  My question is to you:  400 years ago this year in 1619, the first slaves were brought to Jamestown.  Talk to me a little bit about what it means to stand here today winning your first Academy Award, the same place where, you know, Hattie McDaniel, and so many others who may have been discounted? 
A. Well, I mean, it's    I mean, I think it kind of piggybacks on what we were just saying in the last question:  That it means so much for me personally, because you guys aren't able to witness this, but the love and support and the lifting up that I have received on my journey as an actor in just this last five months, how many people have been rooting for me, and it has not just been black people; although, you know, the black family has always lifted me.  But it's just a reminder of when Hattie McDaniel won.  She didn't win just because black people voted for her.  She won because she gave an amazing performance.  And especially then, the Academy was    was not as reflective as it is now.  We are still trying to get more reflective, still trying to get there.  But I feel like I've had so many women that have paved the way, are paving the way, and I feel like I walk in their light, and I also am creating my own light.  And there are young women that will walk in the light that I'm continuing to shine and expand from those women before me.  You know, I'm blessed and highly favored. 

Q. Hi, Regina. 
A. Hi. 

Q. Congratulations. 
A. Thank you. 

Q. That's very well deserved. 
A. Thank you. 

Q. So I'm thinking about that very climactic scene when you confronted    you and Emily Rios  
A. Yes.
Q.    and it's such a visceral and emotionally raw scene.  So I wanted to ask you, What particular source did you draw from to portray such emotion? 
A. You know, all of us, we just pulled on being women, and we have all been in    if we have not experienced a violation on that level firsthand, we have lifted a sister up through that.  And that, you know, even all the way from when the abuelitas came in and escorted her off, that was something that was universal.  Every woman that had something to do with this production, the understanding and the need to make sure that it was very clear in the story that we all knew that she was raped.  It wasn't Fonny, but she was raped.  And we hold each other up through a secret that shouldn't be a secret.  So often, that's the beautiful thing about the Me Too Movement, and the Me Too Movement has I think    have gone    has gone even beyond that with creating opportunities for women to find their voice even beyond just being violated sexually, but being marginalized, being violated.  When you have put in the work to be at the table and being denied a seat at the table, this movement has allowed us and has inspired us to say no, I am supposed to have a seat at that table.  So that energy was going on throughout the production of that film    of this film.  Barry supported that and lifted it up as well.  And that's the thing.  When you have men and women working together, pretty amazing things happen. 

Q. Right here, Regina.  Over here.  Over here.  How are you?  I told you you had that winner's dress on. 
A. You did say that. 

Q. Congratulations.  IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK was a very important part of American literature before this movie.  What do you think James Baldwin would say right now and feel about this win and about the movie? 
A. I think one word, something that he would say often, amen. 

Q. Thank you so much and congratulations.
A. Thank you.  Thank you.



These transcripts may not be reproduced except as brief quotes used in conjunction with news reporting about the 91st Academy Awards®. All content Copyright 2019 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Oscar®," "Oscars®," "Academy Awards®," "Academy Award®," "A.M.P.A.S.®" and "Oscar Night®" are the trademarks, and the ©Oscar® statuette is the registered design mark and copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional information regarding the "Terms & Conditions of Use" and "Legal Regulations for Using Intellectual Properties of the Academy" may be accessed online at

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Communications Department
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1972
Phone (310) 247-3090
FAX (310) 271-3395