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July 2004
Catwoman: An Interview with Halle Berry

By Wilson Morales

Catwoman: An Interview with Halle Berry

Halle Berry is no stranger to us at this point. We've watch her from way back when she starred with Tommy Davison in "Strictly Business" to being last Bond Girl in "Die Another Day". We've seen her accept an Emmy Award for her portrayal in the HBO film "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" as the title character as well as an Oscar for Best Actress in "Monster's Ball". You can sort of say that she's come full circle in Hollywood. She doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. The girl can do her thing, and then some. She's still willing to take on daring roles, especially her latest one. Following in the footsteps of Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, and Michelle Pfeiffer, Berry stars as "Catwoman", a woman no one wants to mess with. Fighting off a recent flu, Berry briefly spoke to blackfilm.com her role and the leather costume that has folks talking.

Does the persona of Catwoman describe who you are as a woman?

HB: Catwoman is confident, sexy, powerful, someone I wanted to play and what I wanted to be. I got a good act going on (laughs) and people have bought it. That's lovely.

Do you see Catwoman as a role model in that she is a free spirit and independent of men?

HB: As women we suffer because we're expected to be a certain way in society. I've been taught since I was knee high to a bullfrog to be subservient to men, to look for a man to rescue me and to be my Prince Charming and that I was not complete without a man. Catwoman represents the total opposite that we are OK and complete and full all by ourselves, that we can do what we want to do, when we want to do it, how we want to do it. We can be in charge of ourselves sexually and use our sexuality in ways that we want to to service our higher good. I wasn't taught that as a kid. I'm learning it now as an adult.

With age don't you learn more about being a woman?

HB: As I got older I feel more confident. As I go through each experience that life hands my way I learn new tricky life lessons and I become more confident and more sure of myself. I start to care less about what everybody else thinks about who I'm evolving into and your strength and power comes from just not caring what other people think and feel but realizing what I think and feel is really what's most important for me.

Did you have to study cats to feel more feline?

HB: I was more of a dog person. I've had dogs my entire life, never a cat so being around cats and the psyche of cats was all new for me. If I had to play a dog I'd know just how to do it but a cat was something really different. I did spend a lot of hours studying cats. I adopted a cat from the movie. I was around the cats on the movie all the time. I did work on the walk and I tried to implement as many cat-like movements into the character as I possibly could. Hard work pays off when you've really done the time. When somebody does something effortlessly it really is because they spend a lot of time working on something so I certainly put in my time.

What did it feel like to wear the leather costume?

HB: I felt really confident and more than how I felt, I felt a difference because everybody reacted to me differently. That made me feel different. Everybody stood back. People were afraid to approach me when they did and they did it with the utmost respect and kindness. They measured their words and they were really different around me when I had the cat suit on. It made me act and feel empowered and more powerful. It was fun.

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