When actors and actresses win Oscars for their performances, they often thank their parents for inspiring and supporting them. This isn’t unusual, but in Regina King’s Oscar acceptance speech, she pulled at viewers’ heartstrings as she showed the world how much her mother influenced her performance—and life. Regina King took home the first award for Best Supporting Actress for her part as a fiercely protective and very supportive mother, Sharon Rivers, in If Beale Street Could Talk. This was King’s first-ever Oscar nomination and win. As King accepted her golden statuette, tears came to her eyes as she took in the “surreal” moment.
King brought her mom as her date to the Oscars, so she was able to pay tribute to her in person.
“I’m an example of what it looks like when support and love is poured into someone,” King said. “Mom, I love you so much. Thank you for teaching me that God is always leaning— always has been leaning—in my direction.”
King’s eloquent and touching speech hits on what If Beale Street Could Talk is all about. The film, based on James Baldwin’s novel, is all about love in the early 1970s in Harlem. King’s character witnesses her daughter, Tish, make some difficult decisions after the love of Tish’s life is falsely imprisoned. Sharon goes through great lengths to make her daughter’s easier and is Tish’s strongest pillar of support.
Regina King praised James Baldwin, director Barry Jenkins, and her family in the first #Oscars acceptance speech of the night.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 25, 2019
The actress reminded the audience and viewers at home the power a parent’s love has.