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Critics’ Choice Awards 2019: Regina King’s powerful rallying cry for “the voiceless”

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Kayleigh Dray
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Regina King wins Best Supporting Actress at 2019 Critics Choice Awards

If Beale Street Could Talk’s Regina King won big at the Critics’ Choice Awards.     

Regina King won the Best Supporting Actress award for her work in If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel about young love, false accusations and life in Seventies Harlem, on Sunday (January 13) at the 2019 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Taking to the stage at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, the critically acclaimed actress and director made a point of thanking the late author James Baldwin for “being a voice for the voiceless, and for educating a country even when it didn’t want to learn a lesson.” 

“We can make America what America must become,” continued King, to rapturous applause from her peers.

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It was every bit as powerful as her Golden Globes speech last week, in which she vowed that, over the next two years, every project she produces will be staffed with “50 percent women.”

Since then, King says her phones have been “blowing up”. Speaking to Page Six, she explained: “That speech was not planned. I talked to the Time’s Up people the day before, so I knew if I did have the opportunity I would want to say something. I did not know what it was going to be, and [I] just let the spirit guide me.”

Watch Regina King’s Best Supporting Actress speech at the 2019 Golden Globes below:

While King has been on something of a winning streak of late, it is worth noting that the industry has been more ambivalent about Beale Street: the film was ignored entirely at the SAG Awards and under-performed at the BAFTA Awards. 

However, King refuses to let these snubs tarnish the beauty of her work.

Speaking to ET, she said:  “I think this is a film that we all need to see right now. But am I looking at it like, ‘Oh, this should win an Oscar’? No, I’m looking at it like, this is an amazing piece of art and a love story that people need to see.”

King went on to add: “We’ve seen a lot of movies that win Oscars that weren’t necessarily your favourite movie. So, if we based it all on that, then none of us would work, right? If that is something that does happen, if we can get a Best Picture nomination, sure, that’s fantastic. But is that going to take away from all of this beauty that we were able to come together and create if it doesn’t? Absolutely not.”

Well, quite. However, we still can’t help but hope that King finds success at this year’s Academy Awards, too.

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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