Damon Lindelof has a rule: The writer and showrunner known for “Lost” and “The Leftovers” won’t work with the same actors more than once — especially not one project right after the last. But as everyone who’s seen a “Watchmen” poster, trailer, or interview over the past year knows, Lindelof broke that rule for his latest lead actor: the one and only Regina King.
“In order to get out of my comfort zone, I don’t want to rely on the known, but the unknown,” Lindelof said, explaining the origins of his rule during his introductory speech at the “Watchmen” premiere Monday night. “So when the writers and I agreed that the star would be a 40-year-old African-American woman named Angela, she most definitely could not be played by Emmy award-winning and Oscar award-winning Regina King because she was in ‘The Leftovers’ and the rule.”
Still, he couldn’t shake the thought. “Every time we referred to the character in the writers’ room, we would accidentally say Regina instead of Angela, but the rule,” he said. “And even when my brilliant bosses at HBO […] repeatedly said, ‘But it should be Regina King, right?’ I said, ‘Wrong, because the rule.’ But it turns out that some rules are very, very stupid — not to mention, it is said they’re meant to be broken.”
And boy, did he ever break this one. King’s masked visage is not only plastered on billboards and buses all over the country, but the cast and crew lined up in front of her for all their photos at the “Watchmen” premiere. King’s lead character — Angela Abar, aka Sister Night — is the prominent selling point of a huge franchise opportunity for HBO, as the long-awaited pseudo-sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ beloved ’80s comic book is set to roll out Sunday.