|interview by Faisal Tavernier
WHO?MAG: A few years ago, Arrested Development had a song called “Momma’s on Stage”. Considering you are an academy award winning actor, do you find yourself ever having to be constantly in character? Out in public to the point that you lose yourself. I can imagine that it’s difficult.
HALLE BERRY: I am really lucky most of the friends I have in my life are people that have known me since I was 15, 16, 17. I’ve got people in my life that ground me and keep me real. Keep in touch with who the real me is. They are always like “I know who you really are”. I love having those people around me. It helps to keep me grounded as I walk through life and meet new people because I am in touch with whom I really am. I don’t really struggle.
WHO?MAG: Our publication is a hip-hop slanted publication. A lot of people have criticized for giving you the academy award after Monsters Ball, not recognizing you for Queen and Dorothy Dandrich. I think it was in the song “Why” by Jadakiss that he made a reference to it. What is your response when you hear those types of criticism?
HALLE BERRY: I am used to criticism. I accept all of it and I respect another person’s opinion. However, that type of criticism doesn’t stick to me. I am not one thinks from that narrow mindset. I know I didn’t get an academy award because I took my clothes off. I won’t accept it. I won’t allow anybody to stick that to me. The reason I didn’t get an academy award for Dorothy Dandrich or Queen was because they were television projects. Academy Awards are given to movies. It’s unfortunate that an accomplishment as big as that, it’s much bigger than me. It was for everybody. I was mindful of including everybody. I feel it was a little unfortunate that it was degrading in that way, that we wouldn’t see the good in it. That we would try to find something negative about it. At the end of the day it’s a positive thing. That moment happened and it started a steam rolling effect.
WHO?MAG: What do you feel was the biggest impact that this has created?
HALLE BERRY: Today we have Jennifer Hudson forcing the industry to take a look at us. For women in film, we arrived that night. From that moment on, I felt we are going to be looked at differently. The cat was out of the bag. That would be the significance of that moment. So to belittle it in anyway, it’s a disgrace to all of us and to how hard woman has worked.
WHO?MAG: Do you feel the explicit scenes had any kind of impact on the winning decision?
HALLE BERRY: It’s not about nudity. I’m totally comfortable with my nudity. I find it hard that in this country, we are ok with killing and shooting, but we are not ok with a simple naked body. It’s a contradiction. I just don’t let that criticism stick. I respect the opinion of somebody. Right on.
WHO?MAG: Considering the history, do you see any merit in that type of discussion or do you feel you don’t have to address? For the sake of understanding.
HALLE BERRY: I would be a part of that discussion just for that reason. To help understand and to hear what someone has to say. I would hope they want to hear my point of view and then we can all go away and make our own decisions about it. Definitely!