Regina Hall believes judging 'breastaurant' workers is antifeminist

For as long as they’ve existed, restaurants like Hooters have been stigma-stricken. Dining at one is sometimes perceived as shameful. Working at one is potentially even worse. But a new movie starring Regina Hall could put those judgments to bed.

The actress visited AOL’s Build Series on Thursday to discuss her new film, Support the Girls, and she shed some light on the humanity and community “breastaurants” breed. In the film, Hall plays the manager of a fictional restaurant called Double Whammies, and to prep for the part she spent time in restaurants like Hooters and Twin Peaks. Her main takeaway? “The girls were really nice. It was really a lot more of a family place than I thought,” she said. “It’s a weird thing to say that. But it is like that. And then you find yourself being really comfortable. And you go back. And you just end up being a regular.”

Regina Hall visits AOL’s Build Series to discuss her new movie,  Support the Girls. (Photo: AOL’s Build Series)

She also emphasized the support system among the women working at these restaurants. “What I loved about Lisa in this story was, the backdrop was like a Hooters, or was Double Whammies, but there was still a gigantic support system, and a really big sisterhood. … And I loved that … the love that they have for each other.”

It’s an interesting time for a film like this to come out, considering the struggle women in Hollywood are facing to be taken seriously and not objectified. But Hall doesn’t think these restaurants have any effect on feminism.

“You know, I wouldn’t say that,” she responded when asked if these restaurants represent a step back for women. “And I’ll tell you why. More than anything is because people work there. And those people are women. And I think anytime we talk negatively about another woman, that harms the feminist movement.”

Support is crucial to feminism, according to Hall. And it seems like these types of restaurants have that in spades. “I think the biggest part of the feminist movement is support of one another,” she said. Hall also admires that these women are earning a living, calling them “smart.” “They’re mothers. They’re just trying to work. And when you get to know them … [they] have dreams, and aspirations,” she said. “And unless we can provide other opportunities that help people survive, then I say thank you to anyone who serves us anywhere.”

Believe it or not, the Girls Trip star almost was one of these girls — sort of. “Listen, I was 22, and went to apply at a gentlemen’s club to work, not as a stripper but as a waitress, and didn’t get the job,” she revealed during the interview. “I was like, ‘Did y’all say no?’”

Hall applied for the job in Manhattan right out of college with her roommate, she shared with Yahoo Lifestyle. “I was like, this would be a great way to make some extra money.” She didn’t mind the idea of working in a gentlemen’s club because as a waitress, she would have clothes on. “And then we didn’t get it. I don’t know why. I don’t think we were giving off enough. Maybe our energy did not feel … maybe it was a different vibration than what they were,” she recalled. “Life saved me from myself.”

But just because she didn’t end up working in that type of place doesn’t mean she looks down on anyone who does. “I think my biggest takeaway was that, more than painting these broad strokes of this group or that group, is just the humanity in every individual.”

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