Regina King wanted her mother to be in the building if she wins her first Academy Award.
King, 48, mentioned to Ryan Seacrest during E!’s Live From the Red Carpet: The 2019 Oscars special that she had brought her mother as her date; Seacrest invited Gloria up to the platform, but her mother remained on the carpet and let her daughter stay in the spotlight.
“I knew she was going to do that because that’s the woman that she is. Just giving, heart so huge, holds so much love in her heart,” King said of her mom giving her the spotlight. “And that’s what [her Beale Street character] Sharon was to me when I read her on the page so I knew where to pull that from — from my mother and my grandmother.
King also recalled learning about the If Beale Street Could Talk part while directing an episode of NBC’s This Is Us, and initially wanting to turn it down because she didn’t want to play a mother again.
But her turn as Sharon Rivers, the mother of a daughter who falls in love with and gets pregnant by a man jailed after being accused of rape, earned King her first-ever Oscar nomination.
Earlier this month, King shared with PEOPLE the one question she was hoping to avoid on the red carpet for the remainder of awards season.
“How does it feel to be here?” King said. “It’s like, ‘How am I going to answer this in a way that doesn’t sound like I’ve been asked this question 952 time and I am excited about answering this question again?’ It’s really just a one-word answer. ‘It feels great!’ “
The 91st Academy Awards are broadcasting live from Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on ABC.