Whether she’s the calm, collected and career-oriented bestie in movies Like Girls’ Trip or she’s acting the straight-up fool while getting her fright on in the Scary Movie franchise, Regina Hall is clearly an actress with many talents. Next up for Hall is a role as “breastaurant” manager “Lisa Conroy” in indie director Andrew Bujalski’s fourth feature film Support The Girls.
Hall recently sat down with The Fader to discuss the film which takes place in a Hooter’s-like chain restaurant in Texas. Hall shares her role in the movie felt natural and discusses how the film takes an Orange Is the New Black approach to solving issues as men repeatedly pose a threat to their progress:
“A lot of it was scripted, but if there was something that felt unnatural, Andrew let us vibe out and do whatever felt natural. The script was such a natural, easy read — outside of my corrupted studio mind, where I think everyone has a dark side. [Laughs] There’s a sadness, too, like there is in life. But it’s life, so it’s not inherently sad. Well, maybe it is inherently sad, but it’s not particularly sad.”
“In the script, we had Cubby, the boss, but the girls didn’t relate to him at all. Then we had a mix of male [characters], but they weren’t central to the storytelling or the arcs of these characters. It was nice, and interesting to be on a set where the women were the story.”
And unlike her Girls’ Trip character, best-selling author Ryan Pierce who always appears put together and relentless at portraying perfection (even if the reality doesn’t exactly reflect that image), Hall says her latest character is pretty much a plain jane:
“One of the decisions we made is that we didn’t want Lisa to look… great. No foundation, just hand makeup — and it showed. I was conscious of her subtlety. How do you have the subtlety to perform so you capture who she is as a manager, and a woman, so an audience still connects with her? That was my focus. How do I show this woman so you feel for her, but you don’t feel sorry for her?”
Hall, who has a masters degree in journalism, shared that like many actresses, she once worked as a waitress, a job that helped prepare her for the film because of the challenge to manage different personalities. Although she ultimately didn’t pursue a career in journalism, she shared she still has so much respect for the field:
“I thought it was such an honorable profession, and I still do. I didn’t pursue it because my dad had a stroke and life took me in a different direction.”
“Now, with everything going on politically, I value journalism even more and realize how difficult the job is — the risks they take in their life, what it takes to sit down and write a story. I’m very conscious about my news sources, too. I know a lot of people who only get their news from Facebook. I can’t imagine that.”
Another honorable path Hall almost found herself traveling? Devoting her life to Christ. Hall, who attended Catholic school as a young woman, shared she’s not only considered be coming a nun once in her life, but twice:
“I was in Catholic school my whole life, and it felt natural. Maybe I was a nun in a past life. It felt familiar. I loved the sisters and I loved the priests. I didn’t have any shady priests, thankfully. But when I was 14, I really loved the nuns. They ran our school and were so smart. They didn’t have to worry about what to wear. I loved their little quiet time in prayer. It felt serene. I remember they were having a number of young girls join the convent, and I was like, I would like that.”
“When I was older, I wanted to do it because I find that my happiest places are when I’m in a really spiritual place. It’s almost like the rest of the world becomes background. I thought, What a great life. How could I ever be sad if I’m always in prayer? But I was too old. [Laughs] Every sect has different rules and this particular one I was interested in, their idea was that this wasn’t a Plan B. It’s not, life’s not going good so I wanna be a nun. Some of them limit you by the number of partners you’ve had — but I couldn’t join those either.”
Hall also revealed that when it comes to the Best Man franchise, there’s already a script for the third film, but shooting is a matter of coordinating schedules:
“There’s a script — it’s just about scheduling. Taye [Diggs] is on a show now, Terrence [Howard] has been on Empire, Nia [Long]’s doing a show, Sanaa [Lathan]’s working.”
We’re happy that the closest Hall has gotten to a rocking a habit is playing one on Scary Movie. She has way too much acting range to be spending all her time at the altar. You can read the interview in its entirety here.