Regina King Says She Turned Down Big Name Actors For ‘One Night In Miami’ Because They Refused To Audition

Regina King

Regina King Says She Turned Down Big Name Actors For ‘One Night In Miami’ Because They Refused To Audition

One Night In Miami might be Regina King’s feature directorial debut, but she made it clear she wasn’t giving passes to anyone, even well-known actors.

Regina King told Insider of casting the highly-anticipated movie:

“Actually, some actors with bigger names had interest in the roles and just weren’t interested in auditioning. And I was not interested in seeing anyone that didn’t want to audition.”

She continued:

“I have a whole lot riding on this and one of the things that [screenwriter] Kemp [Powers] kept saying was just how people received the play, so I knew that it took actors who truly understood that they were not doing an impersonation. All four of these actors knew that.” 

One Night in Miami takes place in 1964 and follows a fictionalized meeting between Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom, Jr.) in a Miami hotel room. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2020 and is set to be released via Prime Video on Jan. 15, 2021.

She also spoke on her previous pledge to hire 50% women in her projects. While she said she didn’t accomplish it, she’s realized the vow has since evolved.

“No, we weren’t able to accomplish it, but we definitely tried. But what we were able to accomplish was that well over 50% of our crew were people that did not identify as cis white male[s].”

Regina King

She continued:

“From the moment of me making that proclamation, if you will, to us actually shooting [“One Night in Miami”] so much had happened just in gender bias and how people identify; it is not respectful to regard everything as male or female.

So moving forward, as I do still feel like having more women in positions behind the camera is important, I have to go beyond that.”

What do you think about Regina King turning down big name actors who didn’t want to audition? Comment and let us know.

Authored by: Char Patterson