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July 01, 2019

Fame Foretold

Regina Hall owes a street psychic an apology.

Mara Reinstein
  • Derek Blank

Almost 20 years ago, Regina Hall was walking down the street when "one of those psychic dudes" approached her and declared that she was going to be very successful.

"I was like 'When?!'" she recalls. "And he said, 'Later.' I asked, 'Two years?' And he said, 'No, later, later.' I was so mad, I told him that he shouldn't walk up to people and give them unsolicited information."

She had her reasons for snapping: "I'm a woman. And there was this idea that if you didn't get something early, then it's not going to happen."

Being wrong has never felt so satisfying. Today, Hall is so busy, she jokes she doesn't even know where she lives anymore.

In Showtime's comedy series, Black Monday, set in a Wall Street investment firm circa 1987, her Dawn is a no-nonsense trader who can make the party-loving boys' club wither with a passing glare. "She doesn't care about fitting in," Hall says. "She's smart enough to do what she has to do to be the best."

During that decade of excess, Hall was a teen living in our nation's capital. She listened to Madonna, watched Solid Gold and wore shoulder pads. Being an actress wasn't on her to-do list when she majored in English at Fordham University in New York City or earned her master's degree in journalism at New York University.

After her father suddenly died from a stroke, Hall changed lanes. "It taught me about the brevity of life," she says. "Even if acting seemed like an impossibility, I wanted to do something I'd enjoy." She soon learned that just as in journalism, she'd have to work her way up.

A small role in the 1999 comedy The Best Man led to the Scary Movie franchise. Which led to a recurring role on Ally McBeal and then lots more films, including the raunchy 2017 hit Girls Trip, 2018's Support the Girls and this year's Little.

She's also done plenty of TV, including black-ish and Insecure. With two more films set for 2019 and a second season of Black Monday in the pipeline, Hall says she goes wherever the good parts are. "A character is a character," she explains. "If it's a film, I'll go there. If it's television, I'll go there. You must have a willingness. It's great to be getting material that has the scope I want to do."

This article originally appreaed in emmy magazine, Issue No. 7, 2019

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