As Hollywood embraces wave of inclusivity via stories, starcast and different aspects of filmmaking, actor Regina Hall has one thing that worries her deeply: people taking these changes for granted.
“[When it comes to representation and change of attitude], there has been a change. But you know, sometimes because people think change exists [naturally], they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re done’ [and stop working towards the goal]. However, I think there will always be room for change and inclusivity and it has to be an ongoing process,” says the actor, who rose to prominence with projects such as Scary Movie 4 (2006), Grandfathered, Vacation, Girl Trip (2017) and Support the Girls (2018).
Giving an example of her recent outing, she says, “Look at what Mariama Diallo (writer-director) did with her debut feature film, Master. I loved what she did in terms of telling the story with three women, and touched upon the issue of race, gender and its effect with academia as a backdrop. Having a film like that is evidence of change.”
The film, which blurs lines between horror, institutionalised racism and oppression, features Hall with Zoe Renee and Amber Grey. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year and was released on a streaming platform.
Hall goes on to say that there are so many aspects of racism that still remain untouched, which makes it even more important that topics such as “openness and inclusivity” always remain a “work in progress”.
She elaborates, “There are so many ways to explore the story. If we take it outside of race, (then we can) explore what it feels like to be an outsider, or what it feels to be different and sometimes treated harsher than others because of that difference. And defining what we believe is important for success. Also, (the question) how much of that racism do we accept as normal? And how have we normalised this kind of treatment and behaviour in certain institutions, with lack of diversity. I really enjoy the exploration of these ideas.”