Halle Berry made history in 2002 when she became the first African American to win the best actress Oscar for her role in “Monster’s Ball.”
Since then, things have not exactly gone the way one might expect.
In a recent interview with Variety, Berry talked about the fact that Hollywood didn’t exactly come beating down her door after her triumph – especially in the wake of her starring role in 2004’s “Catwoman” which bombed.
“I think it’s largely because there was no place for someone like me,” the actress said.
“I thought, ‘Oh, all these great scripts are going to come my way; these great directors are going to be banging on my door,’” Berry said. “It didn’t happen. It actually got a little harder. They call it the Oscar curse. You’re expected to turn in award-worthy performances.”
Almost two decades after Berry tearfully said the moment was bigger than her and for “every nameless, faceless woman of color” for whom the Academy Award win opened doors, she’s disappointed that she remains the only one.
“I thought Cynthia [Erivo, the star of ‘Harriet’] was going to do it last year. I thought Ruth [Negga, nominated for 2016’s ‘Loving’] had a really good shot at it too,” Berry said. “I thought there were women that rightfully, arguably, could have, should have. I hoped they would have, but why it hasn’t gone that way, I don’t have the answer.”
It’s all brought about conflicting emotions for the star.
“It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks,” she said. “The morning after, I thought, ‘Wow, I was chosen to open a door.’ And then, to have no one …”
“I question, ‘Was that an important moment, or was it just an important moment for me?’ I wanted to believe it was so much bigger than me. It felt so much bigger than me, mainly because I knew others should have been there before me and they weren’t.”
Not that Berry hasn’t continued to work. She’s appeared in blockbuster franchises including “X-Men” and “John Wick.”
But she said she’s never stopped having to battle for roles.
She’s now added director to her resume with the forthcoming film “Bruised” about a woman MMA fighter in which she also stars.
It’s a new path Berry said she’s loving.
“Being the director, I have a part in the totality of every department,” she said. “I get to have a voice. That was different, and I really loved that.”