Regina Hall On Bringing Angie Thomas' World To Life In 'The Hate You Give,' And Why It’s Always A Wonderful Time To Be A Black Woman
Regina Hall didn’t expect to be a part of the film adaptation of Angie Thomas’ explosive novel, The Hate U Give. She was cast as Lisa Carter, the loving but no-nonsense mother of protagonist Starr Carter, quite by chance. The novel and film chronicle Starr's experiences with law enforcement, her school and her community, after she watches her childhood friend get gunned down by a police officer. During the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Shadow and Act sat down to chat with the Hall about bringing a black teen girl’s experience of police brutality and injustice to the big screen. "I did Barbershop—the third installment. And after we wrapped, George said, 'You know, there's a project that I really think you'd be great for,'" Hall revealed. "I didn't know that it had a green light, nor was I sure that the studio was going to approve me for the part. A year passed and George called, and they sent the book over. I was more than halfway through the book, and then the script came. I read the script and thought that they did a great job with the adaptation—because that's hard. Then I went and met with the executives at Fox, and everyone said, 'Yes.'"
Though the veteran actress trusted Tillman’s vision, watching the film come together as the rest of the cast came onboard was a thrilling experience. "I was excited! Russell was doing it, and Amandla. I thought of the cast that George was putting together, and I was like, 'Huh? That's an interesting cast.' I thought, 'Are people going to think Starr looks like me?' Hall told Shadow and Act.
"Then they brought on Common, and Issa as the activist lawyer. Even Anthony as the villain — there were all these pieces of the puzzle. George was so clear, and he was so smart in his vision of the movie. When we were shooting, I was like, 'Oh, of course!' I couldn't see anyone else. It's not necessarily what I would've thought, and I know that there were people who were like, 'I don't know about that,'" Hall said. "So that's just a testament to George and everyone at Fox in the casting. I was very excited to be a part of it, in the rehearsals watching it come together."
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