Regina Hall On Turning 50: 'You Either Have Another Birthday...or You Don't'
Right now, wellness is top of mind for Regina Hall. This is, in part, due to the fact that her latest project is all about a group of people coming together to solve their issues at a luxurious wellness retreat. In Nine Perfect Strangers (debuting on Hulu August 18), Regina plays Carmel, a divorced woman struggling with the demise of her relationship. The show costars Nicole Kidman as the enigmatic retreat director and Melissa McCarthy as a fellow attendee. Without spoiling it, we'll just say that it provokes a lot of thought about what it means to be physically and emotionally well.
But it's not just working on this project that has her reflecting. Turning 50 this past December and having gone through the pandemic has sparked a lot of deep thinking. "I think it enforced that you can't take anything for granted," says Regina. "You have to have gratitude for every day that you have."
This lesson is reminiscent of one that Regina learned much earlier in her life. Though she had always been interested in acting, she had never planned on pursuing it as a career path. Regina was in her early 20s and in grad school to be a journalist when her father unexpectedly passed away. "It was his passing that really shifted how I looked at life—I realized how brief it can be and how suddenly it can change," she shares. "That's what led me to acting. The thing about feeling broken is that it forces you to be open—you feel like you don't have much, so you don't overthink everything."
That mindset clearly served her well because in the 25 years that she's been acting, Regina has appeared in over 40 films and television shows—recently she's been starring in the hilarious Black Monday on Showtime. Here, Regina talks more about what turning 50 meant to her and how she approaches wellness.
What drew you to Nine Perfect Strangers?
So many elements! I am a big fan of Nicole Kidman—I think she's tremendous. And I'm a big fan of Melissa McCarthy. I think she's amazing. Then, of course, I read the script and I realized it was a Liane Moriarty book. I had loved Big Little Lies. Every time I read an episode I was like, "Wait, I want to know what happens in the next one." That's always a good sign.
Late last year it was announced that your production company, Rh Negative, had signed a deal with Showtime to develop new shows. What does that mean to you?
It's really exciting. I have lots of ideas and it will be a new way of creating. And it will take patience, because these things take time—that will be a new skill to develop. Showtime has been really supportive of Black Monday—even before the show caught on. So it's nice to have a partnership with people who have been so wonderful already.
You turned 50 late last year—did that feel like a big milestone?
Definitely. I think in the collective consciousness of the world, it's considered a big milestone—so there's no way for it to not be exactly that. But it's also not abnormal—you either have another birthday...or you don't. It's that or death, right? Life is an ever-evolving thing and process. You just keep knowing more and changing—at least that's the hope.
What wellness practices make you feel best?
I love when I eat right and when I feel spiritually centered and connected. I love when I'm meditating—that ebbs and flows. Sometimes I pray, sometimes I meditate, and sometimes it's just about being in nature. My mom just passed, so it's been a rough time, and I haven't been able to meditate. But I have been able to talk to God and be in nature and be present in the beauty of that.
You mentioned eating—what's your relationship with food like?
The fortunate and unfortunate part about me is that I love food—healthy food and not-so-healthy food. I go for salty and sweet foods—and love pizza and chips! Oh, and a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream! But I also don't feel deprived when I eat healthy stuff, so I think that's good.
During your cover shoot, the whole team remarked on your amazing skin! How do you care for it?
My mom had great skin, too. Growing up, she told me to take care of my skin. So, I always wash my face before bed. I've always moisturized, too. Now I use argan oil on my face. Your skin changes—it's different in your 20s than it is in your 30s than it is in your 40s and so on. So you have to constantly be looking at your complexion and assessing what it needs.
How do you de-stress and unwind?
I have really wonderful friends and family that I can talk to, who offer me amazing life insights. I try to keep in mind that everything is temporary. If I am having a difficult time, I remind myself that it's not going to be ever-present. So I try to put a positive spin on things when I can and ask myself what I am able to learn from the tough stuff.
Would it be fair to say you're excited about what the future holds?
Absolutely! One of the most beautiful parts of life is that sometimes there are things that you don't even know you want to do and then they present themselves to you. To grow, I think you have to constantly challenge yourself. You have to think about what helps challenge you and move you—and do those things!
This article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of Health Magazine. Click here to subscribe today!
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