Halle Berry is finally taking her seat in the director’s chair. The actress recently sat down with Variety Magazine for a cover shoot and dished on what it’s like going from actor to director in her new film Bruised, opening doors for women of color and the curse she feels followed her after winning an Oscar for Best Actress in 2002.
Berry is a testament to never giving up on your dreams. At 54, the actress is finally directing her first film. Bruised, debuting at the Toronto Film Festival this week stars Berry as a disgraced mixed martial arts fighter.
According to Variety, Berry cracked two ribs while shooting the film. But she wasn’t going to let the pain of her injury derail her dream of directing.
“I didn’t want to stop because I had prepared for so long. We had rehearsed; we were ready. So my mind, my director’s mind, was just — keep going. And I compartmentalized that, and I just kept going: ‘I’m not going to stop. I’ve come too far. I’m going to act as if this isn’t hurting. I’m going to will myself through it.’ And so we did.”
Berry is used to fighting through the pain. As the first and only woman of color to win an Academy Award for Best Actress she felt the coveted award would not only increase her chances at roles but also the chances for other women of color.
.But almost 20 years later, women of color are still being ignored in Hollywood for their performances and Berry’s career has been slowed by what she calls the ‘Oscar curse’ – the idea that every post-Oscar performance has to be the same award-winning caliber. But she’s most disappointed that her win didn’t have the impact she thought it would.
“It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks. 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.”
But despite Hollywood’s continuing struggles with diversity, Berry is owning her new role as director and storyteller.
“I definitely feel like there’s a turning point. I’m more encouraged that as women, we are feeling confident enough to tell our stories. And there is a place for us to tell our stories. For so long, our experiences have been told narratively through the guise of men.”
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