Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Janine Davis From The Big Bang Theory Looks So Familiar

During its run on CBS, "The Big Bang Theory" presented audiences with various instantly-endearing characters. Series regulars such as Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) likely come to mind, but "The Big Bang Theory" also introduced plenty of beloved characters outside of the central cast as well. One such character is Janine Davis, an HR administrator at Caltech who has frequent run-ins with the show's core characters between 2013 and 2019.

Janine Davis from "The Big Bang Theory" possibly looks familiar to fans of the show with a broad knowledge of pop culture. That is because the character is played by none other than Regina King, a seasoned veteran of the film and television worlds. She has played numerous iconic roles across many notable projects over the years. Given her lengthy resume in Hollywood and her ever-expanding list of IMDb credits, these are some of the most legendary and well-known roles from King.

She was a frequent collaborator with John Singleton

Regina King's first big screen role came with her appearance as Shalika in John Singleton's landmark 1991 film, "Boyz N the Hood." Her part in the movie proved incredibly important for King, as it helped her break free from typecasting she experienced during her time on the TV series "227." King opened up to HuffPost in 2021 and admitted that Singleton's film played a huge role in expanding her career, "I mean, prior to 'Boyz N The Hood,' I was in such a box as Brenda that I couldn't get auditions for anything."

The release of "Boyz N the Hood" was a launching pad for several film careers, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, and Morris Chestnut. Following the release of the film, King stayed close to Singleton and worked with him on several more projects. This included the movies "Poetic Justice" and "Higher Learning." Singleton passed away from complications due to a stroke in 2019. After his passing, King took to Instagram to pay tribute to her former collaborator and celebrate his life, referring to him as "one of the greatest to ever do it."

She was Rod Tidwell's wife in Jerry Maguire

Following her breakout performance under the direction of John Singleton, Regina King eventually went on to work with Cameron Crowe on his iconic film, "Jerry Maguire." The film sees Tom Cruise star as the titular sports agent who decides to upend his professional life in pursuit of higher quality service for his clients. As portrayed in the film, his efforts to start his agency get off to a slow start when he can only secure a client in the form of Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.). In the film, King portrays Tidwell's wife, Marcee, a strong woman who supports Rod and compels Jerry to take care of their family.

One of the essential elements of Marcee was that she was not merely a supportive wife character. Reflecting on the recent anniversary of "Jerry Maguire," King noted (via Variety) that she views Marcee as "the most confident person" in the movie. King continued, expounding upon Marcee's strength as a character, "When I read that script, I felt like, 'Marcee's got it together more than Jerry, more than anybody involved in this entire story,' so, I just stayed in that place. I'd just become a mother. I was nursing my son on set, so a lot of that was naturally happening within me because Marcee was just having her second child in the film."

She partnered with Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality 2

"Miss Congeniality" proved itself to be a major box office hit when it debuted in theaters in 2000. Five years later, the film received a sequel: "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous." The sequel brought back Sandra Bullock as Gracie Hart, a hard-edged FBI agent who learned how to become a beauty queen to thwart a terrorist threat during the first film's events.

However, this time Hart was paired up with a fellow tough female agent named Sam Fuller, played by Regina King. Though they initially begin the film on less-than-ideal terms, they eventually learn to work together to stop a kidnapping plot at the Miss United States pageant. Like its predecessor, "Miss Congeniality 2" performed well at the box office; however, it fared less well with critics, earning mostly negative reviews at the time of its release in 2005 (via Rotten Tomatoes).

She played Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk

In 2018, Regina King partnered with director "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins for the film "If Beale Street Could Talk." Set in the 1970s, the film tells the story of a family as they attempt to exonerate a young man (Stephen James) who has been wrongfully imprisoned. In the film, King portrays Sharon Rivers, the matriarch of the family and the mother of the film's main character Tish (KiKi Layne).

In bringing the character of Sharon Rivers to life for "If Beale Street Could Talk," King looked to her own family (specifically her grandmother) to nail down the type of comforting presence that she was expected to portray on the big screen. King described her approach to the role (via The Guardian) and the inspiration behind her performance: "My grandmother was similar to this character in that she was the type of human being that whenever you were around her, you felt better about the situation you were in."

For her performance in "If Beale Street Could Talk," King ultimately earned considerable critical praise and an Oscar in 2019.

She was the lead of HBO's Watchmen

In 2019 Regina King took center stage in the critically acclaimed re-imagining of the "Watchmen" universe created by Alan Moore. A continuation of the graphic novel's story, rather than a straight adaptation, the HBO series followed King as Angela Abar, a.k.a Sister Night — a Tulsa police officer who works to unravel a criminal conspiracy unfolding in Oklahoma.

The fact that "Watchmen" has a rabid fanbase was not lost on King. However, she admitted (via Comics Beat) that she appreciated the ability to create her character in an established universe. King explained, "It was less pressure because I think everyone that I've talked to that loves comic books, 'Watchmen' is somewhere in their top five, and there's not a person that I've talked to that has not read the graphic novel. So that could be terrifying. But I kind of got to create my own thing. So that's awesome." She just had to focus on making Sister Night a cool hero. 

Discussing this creative freedom, King continued, "Most times when you see an adaptation of something — and this is not an adaptation, it's, you know, using the source material to kick things off — but usually people have to honor something that exists a bit, and I didn't have to do that, I just got to make her this badass chick."