SOUTHLAND: Regina King Talks About Lydia’s Pregnancy, Changing Partners and More
February 21, 2012 by Marisa Roffman
Being a pregnant television character is rarely easy — rarely is the baby planned, they always seem to have to deliver in the most ridiculous places imaginable — but the stakes are raised to a whole other level when said character is a cop.
For SOUTHLAND’s Regina King (Lydia), the trouble for her recently-pregnant character comes to a head in tonight’s brand new episode.
What can fans expect? I hopped on the phone with King to see what she could tease…
What does the next episode bring for Lydia?
Regina King: The next episode, Lydia finds herself still dealing with the fact that she’s pregnant and how that’s going to work with being an officer. But it’s pushed even more to the limits because unexpectedly, she has to back on patrol. And she is still not letting the department know that she is pregnant. So some interesting things come up.
There was a promo photo from the hour where it looks like Lydia’s clutched over in pain…
RK: That’s the height of it all. There are certain events that take place before then that take her to that painful situation. One of the casualties of being a patrol officer instead of being a detective.
Between that and the dangerous situations she’s already been placed in since she found out she was pregnant, has it sunk in yet how dangerous this could be if she wants to keep the baby?
RK: Yeah. The universe is providing circumstances to make her be very realistic about the dangers she could be putting herself in and her child-to-be in. Like you said, we saw a little bit of that in episode four, and that continues in episode six.
We really don’t know an incredible amount about Lydia’s personal life, but she did have a brief relationship at the end of last season. Should fans be inferring he’s the father, or is there something else we’ll be learning soon?
RK: You know, I want to say the viewers will learn who the father is, and I will also say that people who have followed the show and didn’t just pick up this year probably have an idea of who the father might be. I wouldn’t necessarily call what happened last season a relationship. I think it’s more of a…encounter.
Does the father know she’s pregnant?
RK: [Long pause] At the moment, no, he doesn’t.
RK: Yeah…I’m sure people have their guesses [about the father's identity], but like I said, you have to be a SOUTHLAND follower to know who the options might be. It’s kind of like break the code. I think it’s cool because there are people who might think they are so sure about who the father is, and I think even I was kind of thrown back by getting the script that Lydia was going to be pregnant. I feel like the audience might have gone, “Oh, there’s a loop.”
Did they talk to you about the pregnancy beforehand, or did you get the script and find out from there?
RK: No, [executive producer] John Wells definitely called me personally prior to receiving that episode. Maybe one or two episodes before it came up to let me know that was the plan for Lydia, just to assure me that this didn’t mean I was going to be having a limited amount of time on the show. Because as an actor, that’s the first thing you wonder when you get shot or get pregnant: “Oh my God, does that mean you’re writing me out?”
And considering how many cast changes the series has had, that concern is understandable.
RK: Yeah, exactly.
Speaking of the cast changes, Lydia has had the most partners over the course of the show. As an actress, is it hard trying to regain that rapport every year?
RK: It is difficult because all of the actors I’ve worked with have been really great people. And the reason for them no longer being there has nothing to do with who they are as talent or as people. They were just decisions I guess they felt were writing-wise. Personally, that’s kind of difficult to get to know someone, to work with someone for three or four months and expect to be coming back and then they’re not.
It’s also interesting for audiences, because we’re taught to connect to characters, and we’ve seen so many leave from the SOUTHLAND canvas in its relatively short run.
RK: I’m always curious about whether the audience thinks it’s a good thing or a bad thing or they don’t think one thing either way. That’s always a question I have.
That would be interesting to see. Can you share what you’re up to now?
RK: I just wrapped my last day of the final episode of SOUTHLAND for the season. So from here, I plan on doing more voice-over work and I start production on a movie I’ll be directing.
SOUTHLAND airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on TNT.
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