Is there anything Regina Hall can't do? One of the most versatile actors of her generation, you're as likely to see her starring in a comedy — including Scary Movie, in which Hall first broke out as the now-iconic Brenda Meeks, and the raucously funny Girls Trip — as you are to see her in a drama, delivering grounded, emotionally rich performances in films like the indie dramedy Support the Girls the horror-thriller Master. (Hall even hosted the Oscars earlier this year!)
Her latest role, in the satirical mockumentary Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul., is essentially a Regina Hall masterclass: As megachurch first lady Trinitie Childs, the actress' comedic timing has never been better.
"I always want something that's a little bit scary, that you're like, 'I wonder, can I do it?'" she explains. "Or something I just can't stop thinking about it. And it may not be that it's incredible, but it's like, 'Why can't I stop thinking about that script?!' It continues to resound in my head over and over and over."
The movies that Hall has fallen in love with throughout her life are equally wide-ranging, or, as her Honk for Jesus co-star, Sterling K. Brown, points out as she shares her favorites, "You got a lot of gangster flicks on your list! Rom-coms and gangster flicks!"
Below, Hall shares five of her favorite films with A.frame.
Directed by: Howard Hawks | Written by: Charles Lederer
A director who I love introduced me to a film — it's an old movie — and I loved it. It's a classic. The comedy in that, it is so precise in the direction. It just moves. And there's something about the seamlessness of that film and that filmmaking that I loved.
Directed by: Martin Scorsese | Written by: Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese
Goodfellas is one of my favorite movies. Talking about a cast: A young Ray Liotta, De Niro — who I love — and Lorraine Bracco as Karen! Karen was out of her mind. I loved Karen. Joe Pesci. So good. Like, offensively, profoundly good. I don't know what to say. And I love the comedy and the brutality. I love the juxtaposition. And I'm going to give a shoutout to Scorsese's mama [Catherine Scorsese]. I loved her, when she was like, 'Come in and sit down. I'm up already. Let me cook.' There's a man in the car who's literally dying and he's like, 'Mom, can I borrow the knife?' I love it. It's such a great movie to me.
Written and Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
That rise and fall is heartbreaking. It's like watching the ticking of a bomb. And it's funny. Shout-out to Don Cheadle, Bill Macy, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, all those characters who, even though they're in the adult film industry, they create this kind of family. And gosh, you just see a boy who wants to mean something.
And the first time they see Dirk Diggler perform and the camera isn't rolling, just the way that Paul Thomas Anderson captured the expressions of everyone like, whoa. But the moment when the guy said, 'The camera wasn't on,' and he goes, 'You need me to do it again?' And it's like, 'Wait a minute! We've got a star!' Then, it implodes and it gets really dark. To be able to do that, it's complex. I love Boogie Nights.
Directed by: Rob Reiner | Written by: Nora Ephron
I don't think people realize the genius of Meg Ryan. When you watch her in When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle, she's so seamless. And I love Billy Crystal. I love watching them when they like each other, but they can't admit that they like each other. And then, they're trying to set each other up and they don't know that they are in love with the other. And she's got the pie line.
There's one scene that I love so much. When she's found out that her ex-boyfriend's getting married. It's so profound. Harry's like, 'Do you want him?' And Sally's like, 'No!' But it was the fact that it wasn't her. And she says, 'And I'm going to be 40!' And she says, '...one day.' It wasn't even logical, but it was emotional and so real. And I will say with Nora Ephron, it's hard to choose one, because I love many of her movies. I love Heartburn. There is such an honesty. I've seen that movie a hundred times. I don't know. That movie makes me happy, because it's a happy ending.
Directed by: Brian De Palma | Written by: Oliver Stone
It's not necessarily because of anything except I can't not watch it. I was debating between Scarface or Dog Day Afternoon — because I really love Dog Day Afternoon — but I just can't not watch Scarface.