One Night in Miami: Regina King Shares What Motivated Her Directing Debut

Regina King shares what motivated her to direct One Night in Miami and why that story appealed to her specifically. The Academy Award winner sat down with CBS to talk about her first picture behind the camera. King said that her emphasis was on telling a uniquely American story with the picture. "I think that God put me here to tell more of our stories. It was the reminder that a Black story is an American story,” she explained. It’s not hard to see why audiences were so enamored with her debut. The movie has a sense of time and place that makes the entire package feel very distinct. One other thing that separates One Night in Miami from some other films released recently is the concrete difference between the men at the heart of the film. Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Muhammad Ali were from different worlds, but their commonalities enabled this friendship.

"I felt like I knew all of these men," King explained. "I saw my son in these conversations. I saw my father in these conversations. They love, they're vulnerable, they're strong."

"When we become complacent and we don't continue to be diligent, things can lead right back to where they were," she added. "So, it's what makes the conversation in 'One Night in Miami' so urgent right now. Because Black people dying in the streets, it's happening again."

Other filmmakers have lauded her work on the movie. One Night in Miami’s screenwriter recently said that she deserved a medal for her efforts with the project.

Kemp Powers explained, “It was complex as hell to shoot this film that, ostensibly, 50% takes place in one location. Regina figured out a lot of that stuff on the fly. I’ve written a script [adapted from his stage play of the same name] that gave a blueprint for the dialogue, but in terms of how to pull this all together and not just bore people to tears, and keep activity and movement going, Regina was just a bottomless pit of great ideas to activate this story.”

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“…If you come away from ‘One Night in Miami’ and don’t understand what [King] is capable of, that’s like putting the blinders on, because she activated that story in a way that a lot of other directors wouldn’t have even tried to,” he continued. “As far as I’m concerned, she’s always going to deserve a medal.”

What did you think of One Night in Miami? Let us know down in the comments!