As black people in America, especially, we have inherited so much pain and we don’t even understand it. ~ Regina King
Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen has many indelible creations. There’s the gloriously complicated, egotistical yet beguiling Lady Trieu. The heartbreaking Looking Glass. And, of course, the mystery-surrounding Lube Man, who despite a very brief appearance captured the hearts of a delighted audience. But it is Angela Abar, played by Regina King, who is the crown jewel of the resolutely weird, politically trenchant series.
Angela Abar synthesizes Watchmen’s interest in a host of subjects: anti-black racism in America, the nature of generational trauma, the wear that occurs on one’s spirit when wearing a mask. She’s a perceptive, challenging, and inspiring character in no small part because of the way Regina King has brought her to life.
King has proved herself to be one of the finest actors working, whether it be on television with Watchmen, or in film like 2018’s If Beale Street Could Talk, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. I spoke briefly to King this week about what motivated Angela in the Watchmen finale, whether she’d return for another season, and the show’s hardest scene to film.
When I spoke to Damon Lindelof about the Watchmen finale, he said, “If in fact, Angela Abar is now empowered by the legacy of Will and the legacy of Doctor Manhattan, she is ready to take on white supremacy in a way that Doctor Manhattan was never interested in taking on.” Did you and Damon talk about Angela’s potential future and what the world would look like if she got Doctor Manhattan’s powers?
No, we did not.
Why did Angela eat the egg? Why would she want to inherit his power?
Well, I’ll be 100 percent honest with you: I did not realize that was the intention of the writers, that she only wanted to inherit his powers. For me, it was the ultimate love story. She was just heartbroken at the result of their relationship. Even though she already knew what the future was, and was told what the future was, she [believed she] could change it all the way to the very, very end. I looked at it not just as her inheriting his powers, but it was one more moment to feel him.
That was my interpretation of it — until I was told that it wasn’t. [Laughs.] I think it all worked out both ways. Both interpretations work.