Halle Berry has long been recognized as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She’s just possibly the most sensationally youthful-looking 51-year-old
woman on earth.
She’s also in the midst of a career renaissance after having chosen to reassess her life and reduce her acting workload while raising her children Nahla, 10, and Maceo, 4. But now, Berry is falling back in love with acting.
“I’ve spent the last decade slowing down but now I’m feeling very inspired and anxious to work.” Berry says. “I love what I do. When I had my daughter and
son, my priorities changed and I had to find a balance. When you have small children it’s tough to be away from home and so I decided not to work just because I
wanted to be there for them. Those years have been very sweet but now it’s the right time for me to be acting again and I feel great about it.”
Recently, Berry’s Hollywood bankability received a major boost when Kidnap (2017) earned impressive numbers in theaters during its limited-release opening
weekend. Made on a relatively small budget of $20 million, Kidnap stars Berry as a mother willing to go to ultimate lengths to save her abducted child.
Halle Berry lives in Los Angeles with her daughter Nahla (from her turbulent relationship with model Gabriel Aubrey) and son Maceo (from her ex-husband, French actor Olivier Martinez). With respect to her failed relationship history, Berry now takes a more realistic view of love: “I have learned to deal with three failed marriages, which has not been easy, especially when there’s children involved. As women, we go into marriage thinking it’s going to last forever and that this is our prince on a shiny horse. That’s what fairy tales taught me as a kid…and I’m kind of anti-fairy tales today.”
HALLE, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PART OF THE CURRENT WAVE OF STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS LIKE GAL GADOT IN WONDER WOMAN AND CHARLIZE THERON IN ATOMIC BLONDE?
BERRY: I’m very proud to be part of this movement. I want to be part of films that speak to female empowerment because that’s who we are as women. Women
have always been strong and now we have to have more stories that reflect that and give us a chance to show what we’re capable of.
ARE YOU HAPPY TO BE BACK AT WORK AFTER TAKING TIME OFF TO BE WITH YOUR CHILDREN?
BERRY: I’m very happy to be rediscovering myself as an artist again. You don’t realize how much you miss working and getting to be creative until you back on a set and are part of a talented group of people. I enjoyed working on Extant (her shortlived CBS TV sci-fi series than ran for two seasons) and I’ve had a great time doing Kidnap and Kingsman and also Kings (a film about the 1993 L.A. race riots that costars Daniel Craig.) I want to keep finding more good projects like these.
YOU ALSO SERVED AS A PRODUCER ON KIDNAP AND EXTANT. IS THAT SOME THING YOU WANT TO CONTINUE DOING?
BERRY: It’s very satisfying to have more creative control over what you’re doing. We’re seeing a lot of women doing that now because we need to create these opportunities for ourselves if we’re going to change things in this business. These projects are very unusual and it’s important that these films do well if we’re going to get more female-driven projects made in the future. The key is that the female audiences come to see these films, especially in the premiere weekend.
This industry is based on box office results. We depend on that. So if we’re going to succeed as producers and actors with these kinds of projects we need women to come out and support us, too.
YOU WORKED ON EXTANT FOR TWO SEASONS. WOULD YOU CONSIDER DOING ANOTHER TV SERIES?
BERRY: Yes, of course I would do another series. Television is becoming more important than ever for actors looking to do quality projects. I also wanted to be able to work in Los Angeles on Extant while I was looking after my baby (Maceo). I don’t know whether I would work with a major network, though, because
there are a lot of restrictions. Today the best TV series are being made by the cable channels and that’s probably where I would want to go if I do another series.
YOU’RE ALSO VERY ACTIVE AS A BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR WITH YOUR OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY AND YOUR 50% OWNERSHIP IN A LINGERIE COMPANY SCANDALE. HOW BIG A PART OF YOUR LIFE IS THAT NOW?
BERRY: It’s incredibly important to find something you are passionate about. Then you want to work harder and grow in what you do. It’s the kind of thing
where you never say to yourself, “Thank God it’s Friday,” because you like the work and you want to be successful.
ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN ACTING AND RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESSES?
BERRY: You need a very strong work ethic. I get that from my mother. I also believe that if you’re going to succeed in business you need to be very hands-on, you need to inspire the people who work for and you also need to be tough when you need to be. And work very hard. That is what people respect, and that makes for a much better workplace. You also get more done.
HOW DO MANAGE YOUR LIFE AS A SINGLE MOTHER?
BERRY: My children make me a better individual and give so much meaning to my life. They’ve helped me discover a lot about myself and also given me more joy than I ever expected. I waited a long time to start a family, but I don’t think I was ready until I hit 40. I had to figure out a lot of things first and when I finally had my first child I felt ready for that responsibility.
YOU’RE GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND MOST FIT WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD. HOW DO YOU STAY IN SUCH GREAT SHAPE?
BERRY: As a diabetic, I’ve had to be careful when it comes to paying close attention to what I eat and leading a healthy lifestyle. I had no choice but it’s also paid off for me. I’ve also tried to be a role model for other people who have diabetes and show that you can lead a very productive life and not let it hold you back. I think taking care of your body also makes you feel more confident and energetic overall and I’m sure it makes me feel more positive about my life in general.
YOU’VE SAID IN THE PAST THAT YOUR MOTHER HAS BEEN A ROLE MODEL FOR YOU. DO YOU ALSO SEE YOURSELF AS A ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
BERRY: Yes. I’m very conscious of living in a way that will inspire and teach my children to be better individuals. I want to be as kind and wise and grateful when I’m around them so that they will appreciate those qualities as they grow older and make their way in life. I want to set a very good example for them and share the values that have always been a big part of my world and helped guide me. I want to love them, teach them, and help them grow up with a sense of curiosity and generosity that will carry them through life.