Regina King’s celebrated run at the Primetime Emmy Awards continued in 2020 with a win in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category for her acclaimed performance as Angela Abar/Sister Night in HBO’s “Watchmen.” King was the frontrunner for the prize but faced competition from Shira Haas (Netflix’s “Unorthodox”), Octavia Spencer (Netflix’s “Self Made”), Cate Blanchett (FX on Hulu’s “Mrs. America”), and Kerry Washington (Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere”). King’s nomination was one of 11 nominations for “Watchmen,” the most recognized program at the 2020 Primetime Emmys.
King’s victory for “Watchmen” marks her second career Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category after being honored at the 2018 ceremony for her performance in the Netflix crime series “Seven Seconds.” The actress has now won four Primetime Emmys over her career. King’s additional Emmys are for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Television Movie, a category she won back-to-back in 2015 and 2016 for her performance on the ABC crime drama “American Crime.” King was nominated in 2017 for “American Crime” but lost to Laura Dern for “Big Little Lies.”
In an interview with IndieWire earlier this year, King said of her now Emmy-winning “Watchmen” role, “I feel like roles find people. The simple, cosmic answer at the same time is the role chose me, but getting into the weeds of it, Damon [Lindelof] sent the script and I was on board before I even read it, because Damon wrote it. I had not seen the film at that time. I’d never read the comic books, but I had been a fan of Damon’s work. And my experience working with him on ‘Leftovers’ was exceptional.”
With her fourth Emmy under her belt, King now heads for the 2021 Academy Awards with her acclaimed feature directorial debut “One Night in Miami.” King directed the film from a script by Kemp Powers based on his stage play. The film casts Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, and Eli Goree as Cassius Clay in a story set over a single night as the four Black icons meet up in a Florida hotel room. “One Night in Miami” debuted to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival (read IndieWire’s A- review here) and has the backing of Amazon Studios, which will release the drama later this year.
IndieWire’s Oscar pundit Anne Thompson wrote out of Venice that King’s ensemble cast will be formidable contenders in the acting races this upcoming Oscar season, while noting that “if King lands a directing nomination for her elegant directing of this testosterone-charged talk-fest she’d be the sixth woman and the first Black woman nominee in the category in 92 years.”
“It may be King’s time,” Thompson added. “Like previous directing nominee Greta Gerwig (‘Lady Bird’), King gets a celebrity boost on the popularity scale and has been on a roll, taking home her first Oscar for Supporting Actress for Barry Jenkins’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (after not landing a SAG or BAFTA nomination) and winning an Emmy for Limited Series ‘Seven Seconds.’ This year, she’s a leading contender for the Best Actress Emmy for her kick-ass role in HBO’s popular limited series ‘Watchmen.'”
King’s “Watchmen” Emmy is secured. Now she’s back in the Oscar race.