Halle Berry, without a doubt, is one of those celebrities who you think you know but actually have no idea who they are. For the past 25 years she’s been in the spotlight gaining recognition for her iconic roles in Boomerang, Jungle Fever, Their Eyes Were Watching God and many more classics. And as her career has progressed, she’s been the subject of headlines that attempt to capture her essence in a few words.
Well, we got the real deal with Halle Berry as our Yes, Girl! podcast guest.
In the middle of ESSENCE Fest 2017, the Oscar-winning actress took time to talk to us about her upcoming film, how she stays so young looking and what she wants to see in Hollywood.
“One thing I learned from my beauty pageant days is that you can’t be a good winner, if you can’t be a good loser,” she said about her career of hits and misses. “How you accept defeat also determines how you should be allowed to accept victory and success.”
Her new film Kidnap is about a mother on a mission to find her child who’s been taken away. Filmed in New Orleans, the role has Berry in high-impact action scenes but also flexing her emotional acting skills.
During the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Berry talked a little bit about #OscarsSoWhite and wanting to see more diversity in films. She expanded more about that with us.
“We have greater chances of standing on that stage as women of color when we are producing more, writing more, directing more —when we have more chances to win,” she said. “And the fact that I won [an Oscar] —or any of us win— with the amount of chances we have, is almost a miracle. And you can’t be asked to perform miracles, year after year. We need a little help here. So I think we have to start empowering ourselves.”
Adding, “When I meet women of color and they want to get into the business and want to be an actor, I say ‘Write. Direct. Think about producing and make acting be your last choice. Because you’re more empowered when you’re not the dancing bear. You’re more empowered when you’re behind the scenes. And then act if you want to act, but first be on the other side of it.’ That’s how we change.”
Listen to Halle Berry’s entire ESSENCE Fest talk on the Yes, Girl! podcast subscribe (for free).