“A lot of people have this misconception that I do stand-up or that I do comedy and I’ve really never done stand up or comedy. I’ve only studied acting and I’ve been able to build a comedic character,” actress Regina Hall says about doing her latest film, “Girls Trip.” But Hall is much more than just a pretty face and great laugh.
Many fans saw her in her breakout role nearly 20 years ago. Hall, a D.C. native and Immaculata graduate, made her film debut in 1999 playing a stripper named Candy in “The Best Man.” She enters a penthouse suite bachelor party for Lance (Morris Chestnut), concealed by other dancers, and we see a flash of her face before she disappears into another room.
Candy is the star of the show, with her own entrance music — Cameo’s 1986 funky hit “Candy” — as she comes out in a bustier and thong covered by a chain-like skirt. It was a memorable scene; a raucous, raunchy bachelor party for an all-star pro running back. It was undoubtedly the scene that had a lot of men talking. But Hall is much more than meets the eye.
“As I grow older I am really more conscious of what my connection is to the planet and people on the planet,” explains Hall. “I am really passionate about making those better. I am really passionate about my connection to God and where that service lies. I understand you are blessed to be a blessing. I am always trying to hear the voice of discernment about what to do. That is really kind of exciting for me. Instead of waiting to see what I am going to do next, I get to see what God is going to do next.”
Director Malcolm D. Lee recalled Hall’s audition for her breakout “Best Man” role. “She had a sweetness and an innocence about her,” he said. “Her reading was more impressive than her dancing.”
Year after year and role after role, Regina has been steadily climbing the Hollywood ladder of success and people are loving her.
And when it comes to family, Regina keeps them close too. While getting her master’s degree in journalism, her dad died in 2004 of a stroke. Her mom had one a few years later, but fully recovered.
“It was sudden. And I think when sudden events that are painful happen in your life, you know, they redirect your course,” Hall reflected. “When you’re young, you don’t grasp the gravity of life. But when you lose someone and you’re young, you do. And so I think that started me thinking about what I really wanted to do in life. And I know my father would have wanted me to finish school. So I did that.”
Now her mom is battling another disease that Hall has educated herself on and is right there with her mother in the fight.
“My mom was diagnosed with scleroderma about six years ago,” confesses Hall. “It’s a condition that affects the skin and some other organs, and can take several forms. The type my mom has is called CREST. Each letter stands for something. C-calcinosis, R-Raynaud’s, E-esophageal dysfunction, S-sclerodactyly and T-telangectasias.
“When my mom was diagnosed, I didn’t know much about the condition. But Dana Delaney, who is an actress and now a friend of mine, put me in touch with Bob Saget. Bob had made a television movie about scleroderma years ago because his sister had died from it. That was back when they didn’t even know what it was. Anyway, Bob had a group called the Scleroderma Research Foundation, so I donated to that and my mother even went to the doctor Bob had suggested, who happened to be over at Johns Hopkins. He’s been great.”
“It’s taught me a lot about the brevity of life. It’s taught me not just about being alive but being conscious of your health. You want to thrive while you’re here. Knowing I have a history of strokes in my family makes me…