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Saturday
Apr132019

Posterized: Regina Hall, finally a star

by Nathaniel R

With the new comedy Little opening today in theaters and last year's beloved indie Support the Girls still fresh in the memory, let's talk Regina Hall.

The talented 48 year-old actress has been kicking around in the movies and (occasionally) on television for 20 years now, but it's only very recently that she's come into full stardom. Or, to put it another way, it's only very recently that Hollywood has realized that she's a star. Usually with slow-burn stardom, the charisma and talent were there all along but it takes a big hit movie, or a breakthrough signature part, or the cumulation of multiple moderate hits for that too happen. 

It's a little of all of those with Regina Hall who spent the first decade of her career mostly well-down the hiearchical cast lists of ensemble comedies and then finally began to crack leading roles. 

How many of her films have you seen? (I've included her two biggest television roles as well). Let's look at all the posters after the jump...

Act 1 - Who's that? (1999-2002)

THE BEST MAN (1999)
LOVE & BASKETBALL (2000)
SCARY MOVIE (2000)
SCARY MOVIE 2 (2001)
THE OTHER BROTHER (2002)
ALLY MCBEAL seasons 4 and 5 (2001-2002) 

Act 2 She looks familiar. What's her name again? Oh yes, Regina Hall (2002-2010)

PAID IN FULL (2002)
MALIBU'S MOST WANTED (2003)
SCARY MOVIE 3 (2003)
THE KING'S RANSOM (2005)
THE HONEYMOONERS (2005)
SCARY MOVIE 4 (2006)
FIRST SUNDAY (2008)
SUPERHERO MOVIE (2008)
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (2009) 

Act 3 - 'Yay, it's Regina Hall!' (2010-2016)
Here you see real movement up the cast lists.  

DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2010)
THINK LIKE A MAN (2012)
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY (2013) - 5th billed in the big hit sequel to her debut in which she was 10th billed
ABOUT LAST NIGHT (2014) - a breakthrough. Critically well reviewed and a leading role, third billed. She gets one of the key promo posters (above) but the main poster is an ensemble collage.
THINK LIKE A MAN, TOO (2014)
PEOPLE PLACES THINGS (2015)
VACATION (2015)
BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (2015) - Her umpteenth ensemble comedy, but now she's third billed
WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS (2016) - Her first true headliner, second billed. This is the first time the main poster is  focused on her!

Act 4 - 'GET ME REGINA HALL!' (2017 -now)

GIRLS TRIP (2017) -Top billing for the first time. Huge hit.
SUPPORT THE GIRLS (2018) - Top billed. Critically beloved. Wins the NYFCC for "Best Actress" and is nominated at the Spirit Awards
THE HATE U GIVE (2018) -Supporting role but second billed.
BLACK MONDAY (season 1) on Showtime (2019)
LITTLE (2019) in theaters now. Top billing again!

What's next? SHAFT with Samuel L Jackson is coming in June and after that who knows. She's well positioned now for good material and Hollywood is much more interested in black talent than they were when her career began. But it's still Hollywood and, as ever, the competition will be fierce. But with Viola Davis, Taraji P Henson, and both Reginas (King and Hall) all in the mix for A list parts the winner will be...audiences! 

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Reader Comments (20)

She deserves it after surviving all those horrible unfunny spoof movies

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

well, this is awkward: zero

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

I'm embarrassed to say that I saw the four Scary Movies... But even though they were pretty terrible Brenda, her character, allowed her to shine and display her comical genius.

I have a very vague memory of her supporting role in Ally McBeal which is logical considering the utterly messy and nonsensical final seasons.

I'm dying to see Support the Girls and Black Monday!

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFrenchToast

I wrote and directed a play years ago in which the character that was my comic sidekick stole the show. "You're basically the one who realizes how ridiculous everyone else is," I told him. "Oh, like Brenda in Scary Movie," he said without missing a beat. He got the best reviews of anybody.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Regina Hall can do and does anything.
It's not easy for a black actress - with a white director she is the best friend of the white protagonist; with the black director she is the girlfriend/wife/love interest of the male protagonist.
Things seems to be changing a bit. Needs to change more, faster.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSe_bas_tian

Someone needs to thank Whoopi.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I'm going to - kind of - vindicate the Scary Movie films (1, 3 and 4... 2 is horrific) as pasable to fun spoofs and featuring awesome chemistry between Faris and Hall. I am so happy, both of them are having successful careers (let's remember, Faris stole scenes in both Lost in Translation and Brokeback Mountain, plus her sitcom "Mom" has been a success).

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

I really need to see Love & Basketball, a movie that gets mentioned a lot by people I respect.

I've seen Scary Movie, Girls Trip and Support the Girls and the TV-Shows Ally McBeal and Black Monday.

I think Support the Girls was better written/acted than directed, but you should all watch it if you get the chance. It's so rare to watch movies about the regular working class.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I'm happy for her. She made a huge impression on me as a child in Scary Movie, but I didn't expect a big career from anyone in those films lol. It's nice that she's persevered and is having a real breakthrough at this stage in her career.

I'm legitimately excited for the Girls Trip sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed the first.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I've seen her in about 15-16 of these films and I'm glad she's finally getting her due. She is funny but also prove that she has a lot more to offer. When I read the news that she won Best Actress from the New York Film Critics Circle, I was like "YES!" and it felt like a fucking validation to prove that this is a woman who is better than a lot of people give her credit for. It sucked she didn't get an Oscar nod but I hope she does soon. She's that damn good.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Black Monday was a disappointment. The way the depicted the 80s was so basic.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMarcel

"Scary Movie" and "Scary Movie 3" are very funny movies, and Regina Hall is a major reason why.

She really knocked it out of the park in "Support the Girls."

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I've seen 21 of these. She's always a delight. Echoing what thevoid99 said, her NYFCC win was my favorite thing that happen last award season. Hopefully it's a sign of more great roles to come.

April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMya

Gays and people around 30 been knew. Brenda is an icon for those demographics (or maybe just gays of that age?) and the first couple of Scary Movies are looked back on with fondness. Just enjoyable fun, no prestige reviewer posturing found.

April 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Hall is a strong romantic comedy lead in 'About Last Night' and 'Think Like a Man' - funny but also portraying a full character. I'd love to see her in a really great rom-com, but I'm struggling to think of a good actor to play opposite her.

April 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Well - 1 ... and I honestly don't think I missed out a lot ! But go girl !

April 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMartin

First of all, I need to marvel at the fact that Hall will be 50 at the end of next year. I remember being taken aback at her playing Jessica Williams's mother in People Places Things before I realized there's a 19-year difference between the two.

At any rate, I've seen 11 films on her CV, and I'm so happy she's finally getting the type of work and recognition she deserves because she's an actress of great intelligence and intuition.

Rebecca, my first thought to answer your question was Ryan Gosling, but then I concluded that it probably would do Michael Fassbender good to do a rom-com.

April 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I'm glad more people have finally started to recognize the brilliance of Regina Hall. I mean, with all due respect to Anna Faris, she's been the MVP of the Scary Movie series.

April 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew St.Clair

I have seen 7. She was the best part of the Scary Movie franchise by far. Her line readings- "Cindy! The TV's leaking!" and "This is some sh*t up which we will not put!" are incredible and I have used them in everyday conversation.

April 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G.

More people need to check out Black Monday!

April 16, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

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