Powerful women are nothing new. But they’re not always the ones that are out front. In Lifetime’s The Gabby Douglas Story airing on Saturday February 1 at 8 p.m., Douglas is the focus. But her mother, Natalie Hawkins, played by Regina King, deserves her own accolades. The divorced mother of four supported her daughter’s dreams enough to allow her daughter to live apart from her for two years to get the advanced coaching she needed. It paid off in 2012 when a then 16-year-old Douglas achieved Olympic glory becoming the first African-American to win the gold medal in the individual all-around competition.
“I think most of us can attest to having amazing women as mothers but the thing about Natalie is not only did the support Gabrielle’s dream she had three other children and they all had dreams and extracurricular things they were doing. Not only did the mom make sacrifices, but the brother and sister did as well. So it’s really interesting to see the selflessness of this entire family because they recognized the dream of this young lady and did all they could to bring it into fruition.”
King was able to meet Hawkins and says the two women really bonded, talking several for hours on the phone. S. Epatha Merkerson of Law and Order fame plays Hawkins’ mother. Imani Hakim from Everbody Loves Chris playes Douglas as a teenger, and the real Gabby appears in the movie as well. After filming The Gabrielle Douglas Story King says that she came away with a renewed sense that dreams are only limited by vision.
“The only thing that’s impossible when it comes to dreams is you making them impossible. There was never a moment when Natalie did not stop dreaming along with her daughter, even when her daughter though her dream was over. There are millions of people out there with talent, but if no one helps you, there’s just a lot of talent out there that no one knows about.”