Sunday, May 22, 2022

Regina King Talks ‘American Crime’ and Andre 3000

regina king*Regina King is living a good life with an Emmy win under her belt for her work on ABC’s “American Crime.”

With being back for the show’s new season, the former “227” star is enjoying playing Terri LaCroix, a character way different than Aliyah, the militant Muslim she played on the first season of “American Crime.” Unlike Aliyah, Terri is married and has a strong relationship with her husband Michael LaCroix, who is played by Andre Benjamin (aka Outkast’s Andre 3000).

The change is a apparently a positive one for King, who had nothing but good things to say about her onscreen chemistry with 3 Stacks.

“He’s great,” King told Essence regarding her TV spouse. “He’s a great man. He really is. It was an easy ride. We do have great chemistry. We both are parents of boys. My son (Ian Alexander Jr.) is one year older than his son, Seven. Both of us are single parents of only children and we both love to smile.”

The second season of “American Crimes” looks to be as engaging as the last, with the John Ridley-produced and created series taking on racism, classism and homophobia via an alleged sexual assault against a working class teenage boy. Terri’s son Kevin (Trevor Jackson), a high school basketball star, is one of the accused attackers. As accusations mount and threaten everything Terri and Michael have worked so hard to achieve, Terri immediately goes on the defensive with getting a lawyer.

Noting Terri’s status as an upper-class elitist who is a lot more identifiable than Aliyah, King relays her joy in playing someone who is so far from how she really is.

“Everyone knows a Terri,” the 45-year-old actress said. “Terri enjoys the power and enjoys being in control. She’s so far from Aliyah and she’s so far from me. She’s stuck up and I so enjoy playing her.”

“She’s unlikable but most Black people, who I’ve had conversations with, understand her position and where her thoughts live in that space,” King said. “They may not like her and she may not be their friend, but most Black people who are upper middle class understand why Terri is who she is. To get where Terri is, is no easy feat. So why would you ever want to leave? That’s how she looks at it.”

The wealthy, well-connected and snobbish vibe of Terri’s family contrasts the black working and middle class characters seen in season one of “American Crime,” a fact not lost on King.

“Elitism is not a Black thing,” she said. “It’s just an elite thing. I know quite a few people like that, not just Black people. But isn’t it great that this time around, the elite family is a Black family? You don’t see Black people like that on television.”

Despite Terri’s elitism, King is quick to point out that she and Terri do share a common trait with family coming first.

“She becomes vulnerable. Family is the most important thing to her,” King shared. “For the first time in a long time, she’s one of the little people. Meryl Streep said – and I know I’m messing up the quote – one of the most wonderful things about being an actor is that you get a part that is nothing like you. But part of your job as an actor is to find a bit of you in that character because that’s what makes it real for people. So that’s always fun and that’s what has made me love this art form so much.”

“American Crime” airs at 10 pm ET Wednesdays on ABC.

 

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