By Brandi Fowler
Updated: Feb 24, 2019 @ 11:55 pm
Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

After Regina King took home the Oscar for best supporting actress, the If Beale Street Could Talk star was beaming as she walked back to the press room in her white strapless Oscar De La Renta dress, palming her first Academy Award in her hand.

“This feels kind of like one of those full circle moments,” King said as she dished on what it meant to have her mom by her side as her Oscars date. “So much of the character Sharon Rivers was mapped or inspired by my mother and my grandmother. So to have her there, my family was there, my sister, Reina, my son, Ian ... my mom was like the lighthouse right there.”

Speaking of Sharon Rivers, the actress went on to discuss a particularly visceral scene in the film, in which Rivers confronts rape victim Emily Rios. When asked what she pulled from to create the emotion in that scene, King talked about the trauma experiences that unfortunately feel familiar to way too many women. “We just pulled on being women, and if we have not experienced a violation on that level firsthand, we have lifted a sister up through that,” she said. “That was something that was universal.”

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“Every woman that had something to do with this production, the understanding and the need to make sure that it was very clear in the story that we all knew that she was raped,” she continued. “So often [as women,] we hold each other up through a secret that shouldn't be a secret. That's the beautiful thing about the #MeToo movement. The #MeToo movement has gone even beyond that with creating opportunities for women to find their voice even beyond [those who've been] violated sexually, but being marginalized, being violated.” 

VIDEO: Regina King's 2019 Oscars Red Carpet Entrance

She went on to describe how progress has been felt in Hollywood. “When you have put in the work to be at the table, and being denied a seat at the table, this movement has allowed us and has inspired us to say no, I am supposed to have a seat at that table,” she continued. “So, that energy was going on throughout the production of this film. Barry [Jenkins] supported that and lifted it up as well. And that's the thing: When you have men and women working together, pretty amazing things happen.”

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If James Baldwin — who wrote the novel If Beale Street Could Talk — were here to see this win, King says he'd probably have one word to day about it: “Amen.” 

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