April 2002
Q&A with Halle Berry

Interviewed by Niambi Sims

Q&A with Halle Berry

NS: Halle Congratulations! I am so proud of you!

HB: Thank You

NS: First you, then Denzel, do you think that Hollywood is becoming colorblind?

HB: I hope so. Itís a great night. I never thought it would be possible in my lifetime, so I hope so. And I hope this means that they wonít not see our color. I think thatís what makes us so unique and everybody is unique. I just hope that now maybe we will start to be judged on the merit of our work and not our skin.

NS: You were so overwhelmed. Can you describe what it was, at that moment, that overwhelmed you so much?

HB: Itís really not just about me, you know. Itís about so many people that went before me, that paved the way, and people who are fighting alongside with me, and the ones that will come along whose path will be indelibly easier. So itís not really about me as much as it is about so many other women of color who have tried to permeate, this system for so many years. And today, this meant, I hope, that the glass ceiling was broken wide open.

NS: In Monsterís Ball, you committed yourself to a very controversial role. In retrospect, would you have done anything different?

HB: Well since I am standing here holding this Oscar, no, I wouldnít it any differently. No. I would do it just the way I did it.

NS: Can you talk a little about playing the part a mother who had to be abusive to a young a man who you knew had issues with his obesity in real life?

HB: Yeah. That was really difficult, because I became a new mother this year and am more aware that ever about the damage that you can do to a child, almost inadvertently, if youíre not paying attention. So I really worried that somehow I would say something that would affect him in the years to come, you know, because he was struggling with his obesity. I just tried to love him and kiss him as much as I could. Now I hear that heís the most popular kid in school so I donít think it was so bad.

NS: Robert Redford was saying that in a week or so, people will forget except for the oneís that win and those that are close to them. Your case was different. You made history tonight. People will always remember you. How does that make you feel?

HB: Indescribable really. Right now, I donít have the words. Maybe in a week, when all of you have forgotten it, then Iíll have the words but right now Iím just filled with so much pride and joy and gratitude.

NS: Does this moment make you want to fight even more for roles? I know how hard you had to fight for Monsterís Ball. So does this validation youíve gotten revitalize your whole, attitude about really fighting for what you want?

HB: I think so. I think fighting has always been my way. But this just inspires me and letís me know that itís all worth it and if I have to fight ten more years before I make another inroad, then thatís what Iím going to do.

NS: What would your advice be to up and coming actors, directors and filmmakers of color?

HB: My advice is that tonight means that every woman of color should be hopeful because it can happen, you know. And I hope that thatís what tonight brings. Will tonight change the industry? I donít know. But if it changes the minds of those people who felt defeatedóif now they feel hopeful, eventually those inspired hearts will make a change. I believe that.