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EXCLUSIVE: Halle Berry on 'Cloud Atlas' and Motherhood

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Halle Berry
Halle Berry
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Halle Berry is officially back. After taking time off to be a hands-on mom to four-year-old Nahla, the Oscar-winning actress has the critics buzzing yet again about her role in the new film, Cloud Atlas.

During the time-bending epic, Berry plays six different characters, including a woman in the 1800s, an elderly Asian man, a reporter in the 1970s, a Jewish woman in the ‘30s and a extraterrestrial queen. 

While filming, Berry not only spent hours in makeup transforming into each character, but she also worked every minute on details to bring her roles to life.

“All that work goes into creating a character even if—like the Asian manI wasn’t on the screen for very long. I still had a whole backstory for this guy. I still thought about how he stands, how he walks. So, the same amount of work went into them whether they were on screen for 20 minutes or 30 seconds in the movie, you still had to create full people.”

Although Berry said she could relate most to Luisa Rey, a young woman in the ‘70s, her ability to play such a wide variety of characters was what she loved most. 

“I really loved that I got to play the whole gamut in one movie. I mean, when will I ever get to play a White woman and an Asian man, and then an extraterrestrial creature from another planet, or an old native in the beginning in the 1800s who was so disempowered to end up being a high priestess of the world?”

Filming Cloud Atlas took Berry around the world, from Europe to the tiny island of Mallorca, and tested the actress's ability to juggle motherhood with her career. Berry admits she’s still learning how to be a working mom, but realizes she can’t have it all.

“I don’t think you can have it all at the same time. I think they’ll be periods of my life where I say I’m going to work right now, and they’ll be times when I’ll kinda want to disappear and fall off and just be mom for a while. So I don’t think, at least for me, I can’t have it all at the same time. It’s going to be about setting priorities at different times of life.”

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