Regina Hall on Her Friends Issa Rae and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Her Very Busy Year
Regina Hall is used to play characters in total control — this year alone, she’s already played two.
In the comedy Little, which arrived on Blu-ray and Digital on Tuesday, the actress, 48, is no holds barred as Jordan, a ruthless tech mogul who takes sick pleasure in bullying her staff, including her assistant April (Insecure‘s Issa Rae). Over on the small screen in Showtime’s Black Monday, Hall gave it her all as Dawn Towner, the only female head trader working on Wall Street in the period series, which tracks the 1987 stock market crash. And earlier in July, the Girls Trip star headed the annual 2019 BET Awards as its host, twerking alongside friend Taraji P. Henson in a sensational opener.
PEOPLE caught up with Hall to discuss her banner year, and some of her very famous friends.
You’re close with Little costar Issa Rae, on whose show, Insecure, you also appeared. What’s something about the Emmy nominee that would surprise her fans?
Sometimes what is great for people to know is that someone is actually like they seem. Like, she really is supportive of women, she’s supportive of everything that you think she stands for in terms of being creative, smart, talented, pro woman and pro black. She’s all of those things.
You’re having a bit of a moment. This summer alone, you’ve already had two movies come out — Little and Shaft — plus your Showtime series, Black Monday, recently ended its first season. What do you make of being the busiest you’ve ever been at this stage in your career?
I mean, I’ve always felt happy to work. I try not to think too much about the other stuff. You never know, like it’s all great, but it’s just all a part of the process. I just feel really happy to be working with great people that I love working with, and it’s great to continue to be working. But I mean, it’s still a grind.
How much of a blast did you have hosting the BET Awards? Were you nervous, because you certainly didn’t look it!
Of course I was nervous! [Laughs] I mean, yeah, you know, I’m not a comedian. I’m not a stand-up comedian, but I had a great time and I was really grateful that BET was so supportive of my vision and it was great to work with the writers.
Did you hear from Beyoncé regarding your opening number where you riffed on the opening to her Coachella set?
I did not! I did not hear from Beyonce! I’m going to have to be like, “Beyoncé, what did you think?!” [Laughs] But you know, I was actually really inspired by what she did.
Your friend Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk has really taken off, and recently featured an interview with your Girls Trip costar Tiffany Haddish. Would you ever consider taking part?
I mean, Jada is so amazing. She is such a giver and she’s so authentic, and she is so incredibly honest. That was one of the most beautiful things about working with her. If you ever need someone to talk to, Jada is the most honest person. She comes from such a perspective of empathy and growth and, and her own self introspection lends to that, but I don’t know. Her show is so incredibly honest and forthright and sincere that I don’t know. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it, but I certainly wouldn’t do it unless there was something I felt like I had experienced and could shed light on.
Do you see yourself ever diversifying in that way, because you sure did a good job playing an Oprah-like figure in Girls Trip.
We all have different ways in which, you know, we want to serve and give back. I have a huge connection to climate change and health and I would want to be honest about things that probably affect communities and impoverished communities, and how we are connected to one another. Mine would be different, but I think that’s what it takes is people really finding out and being clear about what they are passionate about, and why that allows them to have the type of honesty and vulnerability that is necessary… to get people encouraged and active and doing things.
You’ve managed to remain private about your personal life your entire career. Why do you choose not to go there with your fans?
I am innately a private person in general so I think it’s probably honest to who I am. And although, it’s not like I think it’s good or bad, I just think I always just try to stay very honest to what works for me and keeps me happy. It’s not duplicitous, it really is just who I am fundamentally.
Little is now available on Blu-ray/DVD and On Digital.
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