Regina King Interview: ‘Watchmen’
“It’s really hard in the 21st century to do something unique,” admits Oscar winner and 3-time Emmy champ Regina King about HBO’s “Watchmen.” In our recent webchat, she continues, “It’s an example of when you have all of these different voices coming together to tell a story that is told through several perspectives,” adding that “playing Angela has been such an amazing experience for me.” Watch our exclusive video interview with King above.
HBO’s groundbreaking sci-fi hit “Watchmen” is set primarily in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in an alternate reality 2019 where embattled police wear masks to protect their identity, a nefarious white supremacist cult terrorizes the city, a select band of officers assume alter-egos as they mete out vigilante justice and otherworldly forces threaten all of their very existence.
King plays Angela Abar (a.k.a. Sister Night), a Tulsa Police detective by day and nun’s habit and balaclava wearing crime-fighter by night. Writer/producer Damon Lindelof (“Lost” and “The Leftovers”) developed the series for TV based on the 1987 DC Comics series created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, which debuted late last year, a decade after the Zack Snyder film adaptation of the same name. While “Watchmen” contended as a drama at various awards earlier this year, winning numerous prizes across the board, HBO later re-classified it as a limited series for Emmy contention after Lindelof decided not to proceed with a second season.
The series kicks off in sepia-toned Tulsa in 1921, recreating the devastating Tulsa race massacre that took place just shy of 100 years ago in “Black Wall Street,” the wealthiest black community in the US at the time. That dark moment in history is often called the worst single incident of racial violence in American history. However, it is surprisingly not well known, despite it taking the lives of hundreds of black residents and leaving thousands more stranded in internment camps.
For King, she was floored that Lindelof decided to frame this “Watchmen” revival against that backdrop. “When I got the script and started reading and got through the first few pages, I closed it and was like ‘oh my God, is he, is he doing Black Wall Street?’ I continued reading and I just felt like how brilliant it was of an idea to let that be the entry point into this world,” she recalls. “Real, true American history be an entry point into an alternate history. It is quite brilliant.” she declares. “Most people out there like to learn, you know. Or at least I think so, at least I’d like to believe so,” King says. “I think for a lot of people, it opened up their mind and asked how could I have not known this? I think that that’s powerful. Knowledge is power!”