We were able to sit down with the beautiful and talented Regina King to talk about her role as Detective Lydia Adams on the TNT series ‘Southland’. The actress was in cheerful spirits as she talked to us a little bit about the series moving from NBC to TNT and also the safety on the set. Apparently there has been some scares with people actually jumping into some of the scenes that have been filming – believing that it was real and not a television show. Regina assured us that she’s never felt endangered on the set before and that great measures are taken to ensure everyone’s safety. But it does go to show you – just how real this show is.
So what can we look forward to with the evolution of the series now that it’s moving to TNT from NBC? Is there more things that can be included as compared to when it was on NBC?
Regina King: There will be less bleeps with the language. Hopefully if we make it to a second season, TNT will be able to continue doing the show that we set out to do. Which was a gritty show set in LA about law enforcement, but it’s not just painting the dark side. With ‘The Shield,’ which I think was a brilliant show, it was really about corruption – and this show is not a show about corrupt cops.
I know when NBC cancelled the show, they said they felt like the show was to gritty for that time slot. But you guys seem like a perfect fit for TNT. What has been the cast and crews opinion of this transition?
Regina King: Everyone is really excited. We weren’t really apart of a real or true marketing campaign before. The cast and the crew really put everything into their work, and everyone was so proud of what we were doing. Here you have a show where we are averaging 12 hour days, and we’re doing like 6 locations – so that’s people that are working. They’re really standing behind their work. They’re not going through the motions, so for everyone it’s just like – People are going to get a chance to see what we’ve done and what we’ve created.
So let’s talk about weapons training for a moment. How much of that have you guys had?
Regina King: We’ve definitely had to go through weapons training. We actually did things at the Police Academy. We would go out in the mountains and do target practice while we were running on foot. We were doing some cool stuff.
How much involvement have you guys had with the LAPD to be able to get that confidence and come across the way you guys do?
Regina King: A lot of involvement. We have consultants that are on set every single day. Most of our background are either retired cops or off-duty cops. They call it classroom training – where we learn a lot of procedures and code. We had different detectives or officers coming in every day just telling us what happens on their table. In law enforcement everything is kinda broke up – you have your homicide table, robbery table, juvenile table – it’s all broken up. So you learn stories about how it goes on each table and in each department.
What about the gang activity that is portrayed in the series? How accurate is that?
Regina King: It’s pretty accurate. I would say that it was publicized more in the earlier 90’s than now. It’s still present and happening in LA. It’s just not making headlines.
What’s been your favorite storyline with the series?
Regina King: I really enjoyed the Janila storyline. Originally they didn’t plan for her to be in as many episodes, but that’s how the character evolved.
Do you think it’s possible that we could see Janila on the series again?
Regina King: I wouldn’t think so, but you never know.
What’s next for you?
Regina King: I have a movie coming out in the spring called ‘Our Family Wedding’ with America Ferrera and Forest Whitaker.
Interview By: Emma Loggins
Official Southland Site: http://www.tnt.tv/series/southland/