Q&A With Regina Hall
You've had a busy year, with two movie releases last fall (The Best Man Holiday and About Last Night) and soon the premiere of Think Like a Man Too and a new television series (Married). How does that feel?
"It feels great, especially at this point in my life. This is when they say a woman's career is actually winding down, so it's been great to see mine spring forward. I think that's a testament to how we're appreciating women and age. It doesn't have to be daunting or terrifying."
Before becoming an actor, you were on track to be a journalist. Are you drawn to news?
"I like stories. I wanted to produce news packages, like 60 Minutes. I still watch Dateline all the time. I love Frontline. I just finished filming a PBS documentary on trafficking and domestic violence. I went to Atlanta with Nicholas Kristof, who writes for the [New York]Times. We looked at women who suffered from domestic violence and the activists trying to make a change. It was so triumphant to watch them."
You've done work to promote awareness about scleroderma, a chronic connective tissue disease that your mother was diagnosed with. How's that going?
"Sometimes I write for Ability magazine, which is a disability magazine. We put Bob Saget [a Scleroderma Research Foundation board member] on the cover and did a whole story around his annual fundraiser. Many people and doctors have become more aware of it. But it's been hard to raise money."
When will you launch your new line of earth-friendly poop pick-up bags, Puff Puff Paws?
"We want to launch it this year. My partner, Alma, and I are just starting. We just got a manufacturer. It's hard, but it's fun, too. We want people to have the option of a green bag, to be just a little more earth-conscious and friendly."
You father died from a massive stroke and your mother had a mild stroke a few years ago. How has this affected your outlook on life?
"It's taught me a lot about the brevity of life. It's taught me not just about being alive but being conscious of your health. You want to thrive while you're here. Knowing I have a history of strokes in my family makes me much more conscious of what I eat. It puts a real spotlight on taking care of yourself."
Do you have a personal health philosophy?
"A healthy balance. I eat good stuff and bad stuff, but I try to eat more good stuff. I think people don't realize that your body tells you what it really likes -- what makes it feel good and work at an optimum level. I love raw shakes. If I'm lazy, I go to Pressed Juicery. If I make it myself -- I have a Vitamix -- I'll do kale and coconut water with maybe some spirulina, a couple of berries, ginger. I make it up as I go along."
What's your best health habit?
"I have a few rituals. Water -- lots of water. That's my go-to. I think water flushes out toxins and it's good for your skin. I also take a lot of oils: olive oil, omega oils, borage oil. I like to do it in liquid form. Oh, and my probiotics. I really try to remember those."
What's your worst health habit?
"French fries and chips. I am one big piece of salt. It's terrible for cellulite. I'm like, 'That explains a lot!' I love anyone's fries, but I do love McDonald's fries. When you get them from a place that makes them just right, I mean, it's just wrong!"
You decided to buy a house and renovate it in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley. Why the move?
"In L.A., there's so much traffic. And the whole feeling of Hollywood -- sometimes I don't want to think of the business. Instead of living closer to Hollywood or in the center of things, I live in Tarzana. When I go home, it's like my brain can really de-clutter."
What health habits were most helpful when you filmed Think Like a Man Too?
"The whole thing took place in Vegas! It's easy to be healthy in certain cities -- L.A. is so easy -- but in certain cities it's harder. I can't say that was my healthiest point. I struggled just to stay good. But I still had all my water."
Your dog, Zeus, is on a raw food diet. Why?
"He hurt his leg and the vet thought he could have arthritis. I didn't want to put him on medication so I started doing research. I saw that raw food has collagen and marrow and all the stuff they'd be eating out in the wild, and it's good for their coat and bones. I put him on it when he was about 2 and a half or 3. He's 8 now and it has made a world of difference."
Is 40 the new 30, and 50 the new 40?
"Oh God, I hope so! People are taking care of themselves and there are a lot more resources. We're living in a much faster-paced society. Now if you don't have time to cook, you can go get a raw shake. I think people are connecting the mental, spiritual, and emotional component to their physical well-being, as well."
What do you do to relax?
"I love to hike. I go up Reseda [Blvd. in Los Angeles] or there's a great hike up Fryman [Canyon Park in Los Angeles]. I love yoga and I used to do it constantly until I pinched a nerve in my back. Now I do Pilates. I go to SRF and do meditation -- it's called Self-Realization Fellowship. It's a very beautiful meditative service. The energy of the place is very serene. When I leave, I feel recharged."
What's the best health advice anyone has ever given you?
"Someone I worked with on a set taught me food combining: proteins and vegetables only, or vegetables and carbs only, but not a protein and a carb. I feel like that's been instrumental in terms of digestion and weight."
You've made several movies with actors who've become your friends, like Gabrielle Union, Sanaa Lathan, and Kevin Hart. What's it like to be in this tight-knit group?
"It's been really wonderful. They understand your excitement and disappointment. They understand the ups and downs. You get someone to talk to. Sometimes you don't want to talk about it and they get that, too."
If you were recovering in a hospital and you could have anyone, from any era, recovering next to you, who would it be?
"Oh, gosh. Maybe Buddha. I can't imagine how he would handle it. I think I'd want a spiritual guru at my side, like Buddha or Jesus. Maybe I'd go to Jesus and be like, 'Ask your pop how long this is going to last!'"
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