If Beale Street Could Talk it would sing Regina King’s praises for her Golden Globes conquest.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association named King its Best Supporting Actress of 2018 at Sunday’s ceremony, championing the 47-year-old’s extraordinary work in Barry Jenkins’ emotionally moving James Baldwin adaptation over fellow nominees Claire Foy (First Man), Amy Adams (Vice), and The Favourite costars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.
King began her emotional speech by thanking her publicists, Beale Street producers Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner, and Jenkins, noting that — thanks to the filmmaker’s vision — her son Ian told her that the project was the “first time he really saw himself.”
She went on to make a passionate call-to-action for the entertainment industry and beyond, vowing to produce only gender-equal productions in the future.
“So often, everyone out here that hear us on the red carpet [says] celebrities are using our time to talk about ourselves when we’re on our soap box, and using a moment to talk about the systemic things going on in life, well, Time’s Up times two,” she said. “The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big and we’re speaking for everyone. I just want to say that I’m going to use my platform right now to say: In the next two years, everything that I produce…. is 50 percent women.”
Stars in the audience like Janelle Monáe and Jessica Chastain leapt to their feet, applauding King’s words as she continued.
“I challenge everyone out there who is in a position of power — not just in our industry — in all industries. I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”
Since 2008, the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress has gone to seven performances that went on to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Kate Winslet also triumphed in the category for her work in The Reader, though her performance shifted categories at the Oscars, eventually winning the Academy Award for Best Actress at the subsequent ceremony. On average, at least four of the five Golden Globe nominees for Best Supporting Actress eventually cross over into the Oscar’s supporting category.
King appears in Jenkins’ critically lauded directorial follow-up to his best picture-winning film Moonlight as Sharon Rivers, a middle-aged mother helping her pregnant daughter (Kiki Layne) prove her incarcerated fiancé (Stephan James) innocent of a disturbing sexual assault in 1970s Harlem. Rivers is the only character among the Globes’ 2018 supporting actress nominees not based on a real person.
Sunday’s victory marks King’s first Golden Globe win after three nominations. Widely presumed to be the Oscar frontrunner after storming the critics’ groups’ year-end awards, King’s chances at landing an Oscar nod for Beale Street significantly increase after Sunday’s broadcast, as Academy nominations voting begins Monday morning.
“I hope that — especially in the time we’re living in now — people walk away with a really rich sense of how love, family, and community can function to save us from so many different things,” Jenkins previously told EW of the film. “I think that ultimately the film is hopeful. It speaks the truth of the experience of these characters and the ordeal they have to go through, but I hope the greatest takeaway is this feeling that love and family still unite us and help us weather the storms of American life.”
If Beale Street Could Talk is now playing in theaters.