All Hail the King–Regina King

The actress on longevity, investing, wisely managing her finances, and why she's leery about putting her personal biz on Front Street

Regina King as 'Southland' Detective Lydia Adams Self-preservation can be difficult in such a fickle industry. What are some practices that have ensured your financial stability throughout the years?

King: Often we see the big check, but don’t take time to think that it might have to last you all year. The worst thing is living hand-to-mouth. While I’m definitely a shopper, I make smart choices. I’m a huge Target fan and not ashamed to admit that I keep up with what they have new each month (laughs). I do my best not to buy things for the moment and spend less money on trendy items; but invest in timeless classics such as a pump or a watch.

As an actress, what other personal investments do you make for the long haul?

The Screen Actors Guild has a pension plan that you can put money in, which is equivalent to an employee setting up a 401K with their company. Whenever I get a big check I make some type of investment. I’ve done many of them in small ($65,000 to $120,000) in 24-hour fitness gyms and the amount of return was genius. People are always going to work out. If you’re going to try to invest, it’s important to take your time and find someone you really trust who can help advise you. I’ve been with my business manager for 13 years and he’s great. Try to keep abreast of business opportunities that fall between the lines of conservative and liberal. You don’t want to be too progressive. When the stocks dropped, I lost very little because I didn’t have any money in stocks. Find different types of investments like a storage company. When folks went bankrupt and lost homes they had to find storage for their personals. Sometimes the most practical items and services are the ones worth investing in.

After your Huff Post op-ed “The Emmys: As White as Ever” did you receive any backlash or did it generate healthy dialogue between you and colleagues?

I think it generated healthy dialogue between people. Those that are around me (black and white) mirror my sentiments so I wouldn’t say I received a lot of backlash.

Recently, you confirmed your relationship with actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Has going public invaded your privacy?

There was the one incident where we were on vacation in Mexico with my son on the beach and images surfaced. It’s just jacked up when you have a child and they are exposed to it, but right now I’m going to allow the universe to guide my relationship and let me know where and how to navigate it. There are blogs who make things up like Malcolm is raising my son. He is definitely in my son’s life, but my son’s father (my ex-husband) is great and very present in his life. We co-parent. It’s little things like that I wish I could prevent. We kept it a secret for so long that when you do put your relationship out in the open there’s a fear that somehow someone will try to cheapen it. So again, in the end you just want your personal life to be protected as much as possible.

Southland airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on TNT.

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