Regina King deserves all of the things. She’s an incredible actress, with a recent role in If Beale Street Could Talk that has her vying for an Oscar. But in addition to her career success, she’s apparently an even better person. (Which doesn’t really come as much of a surprise.)
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, friend and fellow actress Gabrielle Union said that King saved her life…literally.
Union said in 2007, the two were on a snorkeling trip in Bermuda when a riptide swept Union away. Thankfully King was there to save her.
“But when I say she literally saved my life that day, she literally saved my life that day,” Union told Vanity Fair. “That’s who she is. There are very few people that everybody categorically f— with—and Regina is just one of those people.”
Union joked that a different woman might not have saved her, considering Hollywood’s penchant for pitting women of color against one another in the industry.
Later in an interview with Michael Strahan, King shared her version of the story.
“After we did Black Girls Rock!, we went to Bermuda for some Lionel Richie concert. We were snorkeling and being bad asses, and we snorkeled out to an area that we probably shouldn’t have been in, and the current got us.”
King said that Union saw a jellyfish and panicked. King saw all of this from the rock she was standing on and jumped in to save her friend. The two women swam back to shore safely together.
Echoing Union’s sentiment, King joked that perhaps other women might not have done the same. [They’d say] “I see a job coming.”
While the two have never worked together as actresses, King was the first woman to direct BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” where Union was the lead. She directed four episodes in season two.
The Academy Awards are this weekend and King is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk. Hopefully, we’ll get to see her honored for not only this performance but the decades of work she’s put in to get to this place.