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Regina King defends casting Kingsley Ben-Adir in One Night In Miami

Sarah Waterhouse

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Regina King has defended casting Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X.

The ‘One Night In Miami’ director has opened up on her decision to get the British actor – who portrayed Barack Obama in ‘The Comey Rule’ – to play the civil rights leader during a fictional meeting with Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Muhammad Ali.

Speaking to Reggie Yates during a BAFTA masterclass this week, King said: “In my opinion, I feel like the best actor for the role should play the part; the actor that truly understands the role that they’re playing.

“And of course I had my own moments of thinking, ‘How are people going to [react]?’ because, as you say, this conversation is going on and it’s been going on.

“But up until that moment, if I was moved by a performance, I really don’t care where a person’s from because as an audience member, to me, they truly understood what they were doing, what they were embodying.”

King makes her feature-length directorial debut with the drama flick, and the 44-year-old star also teased her upcoming projects, while explaining how she has a range of plans both inspired by real world events and others intended as an escape.

She added: “I definitely am developing things that are lighter in subject matter, but yes, quite a few of the other projects that I’m developing are reflections of what is going on in our world.

“So that is something I can’t help. But, you know, I am a fun person. I do laugh.”

Meanwhile, Regina recently revealed how she felt ‘One Night In Miami’ was the perfect opportunity.

Recalling the moment she was sent the script, Regina said: “Oh my god, this is exactly what I’m looking for. Am I a part of, or have I witnessed, those conversations? Absolutely.

“But they’ve always been private – it felt like an opportunity to tell a true sentiment that has existed within the black community in America forever, but through the eyes of these giants. It spoke to me in a powerful way.”

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