Halle Berry got candid when looking back at her decades-long career, explaining she has no regrets about her professional choices. (Yes, that includes Catwoman.)
The 54-year-old actress, who will soon make her directorial debut with Bruised, opened up to Entertainment Weekly about how she looks back at her lengthy resumé. There are some roles she took because she loved the part, while others were driven by financial reasons.
“It’s like, OK, that’s a film I can’t say I’m totally in love with, but this isn’t a hobby. It’s how I take care of my children,” Berry added. “But I try to keep that sense of wonder and stay curious. Because being a Black woman, I haven’t always had parts that I absolutely love.”
Despite earning Hollywood’s top honor for her performance in 2001’s Monsters Ball — she’s still the only Black woman in history to win a Best Actress Oscar — Berry didn’t get the types of offers that poured in for her white predecessors.
“It was surprising,” Berry said of the aftermath, admitting she expected to line up major projects and work with top directors — but nothing came. “Because I thought they were going to just back up the truck and drop them off at my house, right? When you have a historic win like that, you think, ‘Oh, this is going to fundamentally change.’ It did fundamentally change me, but it didn’t change my place in the business overnight. I still had to go back to work. I still had to try to fight to make a way out of no way.”
Take Catwoman, for example, the box office flop that earned Berry a Razzie award two years later. The superstar has the perfect outlook on that one.
“It was one of the biggest paydays of my whole life, which, there’s nothing wrong with that,” she exclaimed. “I don’t want to feel like ‘Oh, I can only do award-worthy stuff.’ What is an award-worthy performance?”
Berry shut down in the press around that time as she felt the narrative about her professional decision spun out of control.
“I just stopped talking. I thought, ‘I can’t keep allowing people to tell me the same story, the same version of who I am.’ I have evolved, I’ve moved on, I’m grown. Let me live!” she noted. “Social media has been great for that because I get to be who I am. And they get to meet me where I’m at, not in the past.”
Now, Berry feels very in control of her narrative — and career.
“It used to be when you were 40 your career was done, and I mean really done,” she stated. “Or you had to wait until you were old enough to play a grandma, and then you could have another bite at the apple, right? I mean, I couldn’t think that I’d be playing an MMA fighter at 54 years old. Yet I did, so it’s got to be changing. I’m proof of that.”
Bruised will be released on Netflix in November. The indie drama about a 54-year-old MMA fighter is the first of two projects with the streaming giant.
“With the pandemic I think we pushed ourselves probably 15 years ahead, because people want to watch things at home on their own time,” she added. “They want to stop it and start it. So I think we have to start reimagining and rethinking how we’re evolving. People have said to me, ‘You made an independent movie. Why would you sell it to Netflix?’ Because I’m assured people will see it, and that’s the goal! That is ultimately the goal.”