Phenomenal actress Regina King sat down with rolling out to discuss her new film Let the Church Say Amen. The film is adapted from the book written by Reshonda Tate Billingsley and was produced in association with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Production and BET Networks. She expresses her newfound love of directing and excitement about this new journey and the film.
As an extraordinary actress, how do you stay so versatile in this industry?
A little bit of it is luck and you know what they say: “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” So, I feel I’m constantly preparing myself so I can seize the moment.
With, your new movie, Let the Church Say Amen, how did you team up with Queen Latifah?
This was a project I’ve been working on for a couple years now, prior to Shakim and Queen Latifah approached me with coming on board. I had been working with Reshonda Tate Billingsley, who’s the author of the book. But, she and I and my sister Reina King jumped up together and started this connection. Two years later, when I went looking for financing, Shakim gave me a call and found out we had the rights to the book. So, he suggested we partner up and do this movie. And, here we are today. The film was shot three years ago and it’s airing now.
What comes to your mind when casting a movie like this?
A lot of things come to mind. With Naturi Naughton, I already envisioned her as her character, Rachel Jackson. I saw Naturi out at the Black Film Festival and I instantly said, “OMG! She’s Rachel.” I went up to her and told her about the movie and she graciously wanted to be a part of it. My sister and I couldn’t see anyone else playing that role, but Naturi.
What makes this film so different from other church inspired movies?
Well, I can’t really speak on every other church movie, but I would say they didn’t have: Steve Harris, Naturi Naughton, Lela Rochon, Hosea Chanchez, Collins Pennie and the family! But, I think the message in this story is the same, which is for you to rely on your faith to get you through! But, also in this film the circumstances that allow you to do that are universal. Just to tell you a little about the film: Pastor Jackson, is played by actor Steve Harris, and he’s the head of Zion Hill Church. He built the church from the ground up, putting his blood, sweat and tears into it. But, in order for him to do that, sacrifices were made and the family suffered. This void has [impacted] his children, and you get to see how this void has affected the family. This movie shows how they navigate through it and it’s definitely a universal story.
What other movies do you see yourself directing?
Right now, I’m still developing, before my next film. But, this film, Let the Church Say Amen, definitely has a comedic feel to it and it’s enjoyable for the whole family. I can’t say I want to put myself in a directorial box about the movies I want to do. But, for me, I just wanna do great stories that excite me.
Let the Church Say Amen is airing now on BET. Click below to watch the trailer.