Some real-life friendships really are as strong as those we see in rom-coms or during a Girlfriends rerun. Case in point: the unwavering bond between Regina King and Gabrielle Union.
In a recent profile of the If Beale Street Could Talk actress, her friend and actress Gabrielle Union recounted the time King saved her life — literally.
In a new Vanity Fair profile of King, 46-year-old Union opens up about her relationship with the If Beale Street Could Talk star. Specifically, she recounts the time she almost drowned in a riptide during a 2007 snorkeling trip in Bermuda. And it was 47-year-old King, Union said, who came to her rescue.
“When I say she literally saved my life that day, she literally saved my life that day,” Union said. “That’s who she is.”
A few months later, in August 2018, host and former NFL athlete Michel Strahan cited Union’s tweet and asked King about the near-drowning during a segment on Good Morning America. In the interview, King called Union “amazing,” and explained that their Bermuda trip occurred after they became the first hosts of BET’s Black Girls Rock!, an annual awards show honoring Black women in various fields.
“After we did Black Girls Rock!, we went to Bermuda for some Lionel Richie concert,” King said. “We were snorkeling and being bad asses, and we snorkeled out to an area that we probably shouldn’t have been in, and the current got us.”
King said that Union panicked at the sight of jellyfish, prompting her to jump off the rock she was on to save Union. The two swam back to safety together. During the GMA interview, King also joked about how other actresses may not have saved Union, telling Robin Roberts they’d say, “I see a job coming.”
Highlighting how Hollywood likes to pit women against each other, Union added (jokingly, we think) that had King been any other actress, she might have drowned.
“There are very few people that everybody categorically f-cks with—and Regina is just one of those people,” Union added.
Union and King, however, are defying gender stereotypes by choosing to be allies in the industry rather than competitors. In May 2018, Union vouched for her friend in a message posted on Twitter, suggesting that King should have every opportunity afforded to her.