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'Southland' actress Regina King needs sleep, both on-screen and off

The Associated Press, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 10:46am (PST)

NEW YORK (AP) -- When "Southland" returns to TNT on Wednesday, viewers will see the character of Los Angeles police Detective Lydia Adams as a new mom desperately in need of sleep.

"She's not juggling things so well. Motherhood is not coming naturally," said actress Regina King, who plays Adams, in a recent interview.

"I think Lydia has always been one of those (people) who has been pretty good at everything she's done, so I wouldn't say that it's coming as a shock to her; it's just a lot. She didn't anticipate having a colicky baby, so she's not getting any sleep, and that affects everything, especially being a detective. ... She's not like 100 percent."

Off-camera, King can definitely relate. She's not a new mom, but she's been pulling double duty, directing and acting in an upcoming episode of the acclaimed series.

"It's tiring because as a director you have to be thinking about everything," she said.

King directed the fifth episode of the new season, but says she began prepping while filming episode four.

"First day up on episode five I'm in every single scene," she recalled. "I was like, 'Dude, like really?' It seemed like not a good idea, but it was (actually) such a great idea because I was able to get most of my stuff out of the way. And it just felt never-ending, like I never slept ... (it was) constantly 'Southland' 24/7."

"Thankfully, I really like the show," she deadpanned, "so it worked out OK.'"

Now that the episode is done filming, King is involved in the editing process. Plus, she's acting in subsequent episodes.

The 42-year-old, who landed her first acting job as a teen on the sitcom "227" as the daughter of Marla Gibbs, says she enjoys the challenge of directing.

King was recently accepted into the ABC/DGA Directors Program, a two-year course where participants are guided by network and studio executives as they develop their skills.

She shadowed a director on the ABC drama "Private Practice," which had its series finale last month.

"It definitely let me know that I would like to do more episodic TV, it's the opportunity to do little minimovies," she said.

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