Regina King Praised by ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Co-Stars for New 50/50 Initiative

Two days had passed since Kiki Layne and Stephan James had attended their first Golden Globes and the “If Beale Street Could Talk” co-stars were still trying to wrap their heads around having been there.

“It was such a special night — and pretty unreal,” says James, who was also nominated for his work opposite Julia Roberts on Amazon’s “Homecoming.” “To walk into that room, it means the world.”

Layne was seated at a table between Janelle Monae and Gina Rodriguez. “It was my first Globes and meeting all of these people I look up to and been inspired by so much, I’m still soaking it up,” she says.

Variety caught up with Layne and James on Tuesday night at a special screening of their Barry Jenkins-directed drama, hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, at the London Hotel in West Hollywood.

Gabrielle Union"If Beale Street Could Talk" tastemaker screening hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross - presented by Gucci and RAD, Los Angeles, USA - 08 January 2019

Both praised their co-star Regina King for her Globes acceptance speech in which she vowed to hire 50% women for all her future productions.

“What an incredible announcement and what an incredible initiative,” James said. “I’m just so proud of her. She’s really worked a long time to get to this point and she’s done a gaggilion films, and to see the way the business is recognizing her and appreciating her in this moment in time, to pay it forward like that, I’m incredibly proud of her.”

The screening was co-presented by RAD and also included a donation from Gucci to #MeToo organizations and the Essie Justice Group.

The guest list included Gabrielle Union, Debby Ryan, Andrea Riseborough, Rufus Wainwright, Duran Duran’s John Taylor, Jordan Buhat, and J. Alexander.

KiKi Layne and Tracee Ellis Ross"If Beale Street Could Talk" tastemaker screening hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross - presented by Gucci and RAD, Los Angeles, USA - 08 January 2019
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