Catch more of Regina King in the full episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
It’s no secret that the road to adulthood from child stardom is rarely a smooth one. But Emmy-winner, Regina King (American Crime, The Leftovers) didn’t get where she is by following the pack.
So how did she avoid the very public pitfalls that so many child stars fall victim to? “I’ve got a momma, you know, not a mother, a momma,” King laughed, recounting her early career during a visit to Entertainment Weekly: The Show. “And she was a teacher,” she added, saying that they called her “Yoda” because of her “Jedi-mind tricks.”
While she got, and preferred, “whoopings,” her mom didn’t want to let her off so easily. Once she realized King preferred spankings — “because after it happened, it was done,” she says — her mother changed it up. “She would do things like make us write a paper about it … and actually, you know, grade us on it, and if it wasn’t right, would send us back to the lab and make corrections.”
King concluded, “I feel like those little things, they stick with you.”
American Crime airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.