Regina Hall Talks Wellness, Friendship And Partnering With Jameson Whiskey For St. Patrick’s Day
When you talk about top-tier Black female comedians, these days, it’s a must to include Regina Hall in the conversation. The star began her career in the 1990s and has been going strong since, including having roles in The Best Man franchise, Love & Basketball, Girls Trip, the series Black Monday and more. Some may argue her work in the classic Scary Movie franchise is what catapulted Hall to success. Either way, she’s been a source of joy and laughter for Black women for over two decades and she still has her foot on the gas.
ESSENCE caught up with the beauty to find out what she’s been up to as of late. A partnership with Jameson Irish Whiskey to launch the Jameson Desk Decoy happens to be one of her most recent projects. The decoy is a limited edition cardboard cutout, which is meant to fill in for you at work while you enjoy a drink with friends this upcoming St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). We also discussed the talk of a Girls Trip 2, navigating loss after the passing of her mother in 2021 due to heart complications, friendship, wellness in your 50s and more.
ESSENCE: Tell me a little bit about the Jameson Desk Decoy and why you decided to do this partnership?
Regina Hall: I think it’s fun. It’s like a life-size cardboard cutout of yourself. You can just literally send in a photo of yourself and they make you a decoy. St. Patrick Day falls on a Friday this year, and it’s just encouraging people to celebrate. Since it’s on a Friday, maybe ask the boss for the day off and celebrate Jameson St. Patrick’s Day.
I love the brand, and when we decided to partner it made sense and I actually was excited that they thought, “This person, they represent our brand as much as anyone else.” So it felt like a fun partnership and it has been fun.
What cocktail best describes you and why?
Well, I do like Jameson with ginger ale and lime. It’s refreshing. It’s also easy and I’m not a person that can handle complicated concoctions and my friends enjoy it. So it probably would be a go-to for me.
I’m gonna switch gears and talk a little bit about your gigs. The Best Man is over and we are heartbroken, but we’re thankful for the series and movies you’ve given us over the years. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned and internalized by playing the role of Candace?
Wow. Probably growth. Candace has had really big shifts in her life throughout the different incarnations of The Best Man from the first one to the second one. I think for Candace, it’s been an evolution. I feel that very much in my own life and where it goes in places–some that I love and some that are certainly more challenging. But I do always grow from them. Sometimes, the most rewarding growth does come from very difficult times. But I love her resilience to continue to grow and work hard and learn. We’re always works in progress. So, that resonates with me.
How has your role in Girls Trip helped you appreciate your friendships more and maybe changed the way that you show up in your friendships?
Well, I can’t say that it changed anything to be honest, but what I can say I responded to was the friendships, because I feel like I had that already. And anytime you get to see it, you appreciate it. It was great because in Girls Trip, I made new friends and that’s exciting.
For me, my friends have been lifelines and supported me through so many different points in my life. Some that seem like the worst and now I laugh at them, but at that moment, they are your friends, being there for you. Being able to be transparent and vulnerable with a group of people who know you and value you, you know what I mean? It’s pretty priceless. So the movie itself, being able to show the depth and the honesty and the fun and the dynamics of friendship between women–Black women, was wonderful.
We all do it the same, but yet we all do it differently in our way. And so I think to celebrate the beauty of the similarities, but also the beauty of the nuances was great for me. And I love that we got to be unapologetically human and women and that different types of audiences were able to resonate with that.
When you look back at Regina who started her career all those years ago, and Regina now, what would you say is one of the biggest changes you notice?
There’s great change. I’ve had great change because I’ve had incredible experiences, met amazing people and gotten to share things with loved ones and people close to my heart. The hardest change has been the loss of my mom.
I hear people say that when a parent passes, the pain doesn’t just go away. So what are some healthy ways that you grieve and cope?
I think it changes. What works at one time may work may not work later. I think for me, having a spiritual center and belief, friends who have been through it and who are there to help you a little bit and truthfully just time and celebrating the memories. I think it’s just a day-to-day fight.
Obviously, you do understand it’s a part of life. But I think you just navigate it moment to moment.
Now that you’re in your fabulous fifties, what are some health and lifestyle changes you’ve made to better care for yourself?
I think just really realizing life is precious. Enjoying the moments, celebrating what’s in front of you. Taking things that are precious–moments, days, times, and realizing that is what we have. That is it right there. Honestly, it’s not a lot of things, it’s moments. That is one of the reasons I did work with Jameson. I have learned to celebrate in the moments that are celebratory or even aren’t.
I’m gonna be in New York for St. Patrick’s Day and I’m gonna see my girlfriends. We are gonna go out, we are gonna make memories, we are gonna laugh, we’re gonna drink Jameson. And I will remember that moment in five years and then 10 years and I think for me, it’s not the striving, it’s just the moment.
I do like to toast to things that are joyful with friends and family. I do like to take time to take myself away from just work and try to discover things that when I look back and I’m an old lady, I’ll go, “Oh, I remember that. That was fun and I’m happy that I did [that] not because of what other people thought. Not because it was a giant moment, but because it was a special one.”