Regina Hall has been the best thing in many movies that were either not worthy of her talents (the “Scary Movie” series), overlooked (Malibu’s Most Wanted), or just plain awful (“The Honeymooners,” “King’s Ransom”). She has an extraordinary ability to be funny and real at the same time, always avoiding caricature. In Ice Cube’s latest film, “First Sunday,” she plays his “baby mama.” Her role is to hound him for money, but she manages to make the character touching and sympathetic. Ms. Hall spoke to me about the film, her plans for the future, and her thoughts on faith on January 4 in Washington, DC.
Regina Hall talks about her new movie with Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, and Katt Williams, “First Sunday”
Regina Hall talks about her character, Omunique
I loved the way you made Omunique sympathetic — it would have been so easy to make her shrill and over the top. This was especially important because your scenes with Ice Cube and are in contrast to the rest of the movie, which is very broad comedy, and are what really make us care about what happens to the characters. Can you tell me how you thought about her and how you create that balance?
Omunique is like a lot of single mothers who work really hard and whose partners have not shown up in an equal capacity. It can make it difficult but she loves her son, and that is what matters to her. It’s about him, not about her. There’s another scene that got cut from the movie but will be on the DVD where she sees her son talking to his father on the phone about the video game and he tries to hide it from her. She tells him that he does not ever have to sneak to call his father, and it shows you that she is protective of the father-son relationship even though they are not together. It is a comedy, but you can’t caricaturize. Her name gave it enough! Omunique is not in a lot of scenes so I only had a few moments to get what you need for comedy and still leave truth there. That’s something that every woman of every race can understand.