Halle Berry Says Her Team Felt Infamous “Monster’s Ball” Sex Scene Would Ruin Her Image + Oscar Win Was Her Biggest Heartbreak
Veteran actress Halle Berry, 54, recently got candid on the highs and lows of her acting career, from breaking ribs on set to her directorial debut as a Black woman in a competitive field and industry.
Halle Berry who has diabetes says that she feels at risk, during the current pandemic.
“I do feel at risk. I’m very strict about quarantining and who is in my bubble. We have a whole section of the house: When you go out in the world and buy something, it has to sit in this purgatory.”
Halle Berry, who is currently representing herself in her divorce from actor Olivier Martinez, doesn’t want her fans to focus on that, she wants to keep the focus on her evolving career from actress to director. She says that winning her 2002 Oscar actually was her biggest heartbreak, because the win, didn’t create change for Female directors, and that things actually got more challenging for her after taking home the award.
“I definitely feel like there’s a turning point. I’m more encouraged that as women, we are feeling confident enough to tell our stories. And there is a place for us to tell our stories. For so long, our experiences have been told narratively through the guise of men.”
“I think it’s largely because there was no place for someone like me. I thought, ‘Oh, all these great scripts are going to come my way; these great directors are going to be banging on my door.’ It didn’t happen. It actually got a little harder. They call it the Oscar curse. You’re expected to turn in award-worthy performances.”
“It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks. The morning after, I thought, ‘Wow, I was chosen to open a door.’ And then, to have no one … I question, ‘Was that an important moment, or was it just an important moment for me?’ I wanted to believe it was so much bigger than me. It felt so much bigger than me, mainly because I knew others should have been there before me and they weren’t.”
“Just because I won an award doesn’t mean that, magically, the next day, there was a place for me. I was just continuing to forge a way out of no way.”
After her Oscar win, she says that she chose to take on the role of Catwoman, in hopes that it would change the types of roles given to Black actors.
“People said to me, ‘You can’t do that. You’ve just won the Oscar,’ Because I didn’t do Jinx, I thought, ‘This is a great chance for a woman of color to be a superhero. Why wouldn’t I try this?’”
Halle Berry, who is currently directing a project called “Bruised, talks about the evolution of her career from actor to director, calling it a career rebirth,
“As an actor, I always show up and do my part, and I can only do what I can do. Being the director, I have a part in the totality of every department. I get to have a voice. That was different, and I really loved that.”
One issue that has troubled Halle Berry throughout her career is getting directors to look at her talent, not just looks.
“That is a blessing and a curse. People always wanting to see my physical self first, and then some will argue, ‘That’s what got you in the door.’ But even if that got me in the door, I’ve had to fight that image of being stereotyped, fight to be seen as an artist.”
She says that her team did not support the sex scene she did in “Monster’s Ball,” with racist corrections officer, played by Billy Bob Thornton. Her team warned that the role might tarnish her image,
“It was a little movie, and it had this love scene that, I guess, was explicit in the minds of some people. And I was getting paid nothing. They thought if you’re going to do something like that, get a s—load of money. But that’s not why I’m doing it. I didn’t feel it was exploitative. It was necessary for the character.”
The director for Halle Berry’s 2014 film “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” where she plays Storm, was accused of alleged sexual assault by 4 underaged men. Halle Berry, who worked with the director, says the allegations and the #MeToo movement have inspired her,
“Clearly, things need to change. And what we as women were acquiescing to, and were allowing needs to change. And it needed to get blown up. And people needed to be outed.”
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