Some of your aunties might regret going past that third cocktail this holiday season, but Regina King is not afraid to let her hair down.
The Watchmen star sat down with ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast recently and revealed that she actually did get a little tipsy during her appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. And although she was initially “embarrassed,” she ended up connecting better with her fans.
“I’m a great actress, but who wants to act drunk not for a check,” King told guest host and ESSENCE’s West Coast editor Regina R. Robertson. “At first, I was mortified that it happened.”
King appeared on Watch What Happens Live with her 227 co-star Jackée Harry during the Bravo hit series’ fourth season in 2011. The episode quickly trended on social media as the two sipped cocktails, a signature on the late-night TV series, laughed super hard and made coquettish jokes to host Andy Cohen.
Luckily the lighthearted segment ended before any damage could be done. Even King’s publicist Mike Liotta told her afterward, “‘Ooo wee. That ended just in time,'” she recalled with a laugh.
Still, the Oscar winner said she got an unexpected reaction from viewers—instead of judging her, they appreciated that King was willing to loosen up on camera.
“What ended up happening for me instead of going to the place of embarrassment, was that how many people saw me as an uptight person, saw me as a person that didn’t let her hair down, saw me as a person that doesn’t joke,” she reflected.
King expressed appreciation to Cohen for giving her a chance to show a different side of herself to fans.
“I am a fool, but apparently only those close to me know,” she said. “[So] it did allow the audience to know, ‘Oh, she’s cool!’ So, you know…Thanks, Andy!”
Although fans didn’t know that King was super fun to drink with, they’re very familiar with her resume as a show business veteran. The former child star has spent decades in the business on the big and small screens, having recently won praise for her role on Netflix’s Seven Seconds and in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. Her recent turn in HBO’s Watchmen, which had its season finale Sunday night, is already receiving calls for Emmy Award nominations.
ESSENCE’s December cover star said at this point in her career it feels great to be at the top of the call sheet, but she added, “I guess I just am old school and kind of come from a space of there are no small parts, there are just small actors.”
“That was something that was said to me early, early, early, in my teens, you know, maybe even pre-teens, and that stuck with me. So, it’s something that my acting coach back then, Betty Bridges, who’s Todd Bridges’ mother…she said that early on, and just that never left me,” King explained.
The Los Angeles native said her blessings throughout her Hollywood career came from God’s grace, favor, and consistently giving her all.
“So, when I hear that, I understand that people are saying that out of respect and they feel pride in that position, but I’d say that I don’t give any more than I give when I’m any other number on the call sheet,” the actress continued. “I’ve planted my seeds and I’ve been soiling and fertilizing them and surrounding myself with the right people that make sure that that’s happening. Now it’s blooming and I’m grateful for it.”
Listen to King on the latest episode of ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast now.