Versatile actress Regina King is an undisputed master of the Hollywood game. Just ask fellow actors Chris Rock and Will Smith, who demanded that King be their leading lady in Down to Earth and Enemy of the State, respectively. Her smart, easy way of playing women we know has earned King respect from her peers as well as her fans. When you combine her skills with a work ethic that has made her one of the hardest-working actresses in the business, you understand why this woman—who’s had starring roles in blockbusters like Jerry Maguire and Legally Blonde 2—is a favorite.

Acting is truly an art to me, so I approach it that way. I choose projects because they interest me, not because I need to pay a bill. I understand that many entertainers are in that position, so I’m not saying that to put anyone down. But I’ve been blessed enough that I don’t have to choose roles just for the paycheck. When I look back at the films I have done, I can honestly say that I enjoy watching them again.
My mother and grandmother have been role models for me. They always look out for our family’s mental and spiritual well-being. It’s the reason we’re a happy family that genuinely loves one another. If I can do half the job they did, I’ll be an awesome mom.

As of this April, I will have been married seven years. My husband is a great father. I couldn’t imagine raising my child without him.

Becoming a parent has really changed me. My son has such a big heart that he has taught me to be a more tolerant person.

Everybody who knows me always asks, “When are you gonna do something where you’re kicking somebody’s butt?” Like any other actress who works hard to stay in great shape—I ran track and played volleyball for years, and I work out regularly—I want to play a character who will show off my athletic ability and physical strength. Directing consumes you; it’s your baby. So I probably won’t direct until my children—I’d like to have another baby—are teenagers.

Many people in the entertainment industry have families that consume a lot of energy—financially and mentally. They have “always something” families. I don’t have that. I have a family that is small, supportive and, above all, honest.