Monday, January 18, 2021

Halle Berry Reflects On Being Only Black Woman to Win Best Lead Actress Oscar

*Halle Berry remains disheartened that she remains the only woman of color to win a Best Lead Actress Oscar. 

Berry bagged the coveted trophy in 2002 for her role in “Monster’s Ball.” At the time, she was hopeful that her win would provide more opportunities for Black women in leading roles. 

“This moment is so much bigger than me,” she said on the Oscar stage nearly 20 years ago. “This award is for every nameless, faceless woman of colour that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

Looking back on that moment, Berry said she “really thought that night meant that very soon after that, other women of color, Black women, would stand beside me,” the actress told the Mirror

There have only been five Black nominees since her win.

READ MORE: Halle Berry Pens Touching Tribute to Her ‘B.A.P.S.’ Co-Star Natalie Desselle-Reid, Dead at 53

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“Now it’s been 20 years and no one has [won], and so every time Oscar time comes around, I get very reflective and I think, ‘Well maybe this year, maybe this year,'” Berry said. ‘It has become heartbreaking that no one else has stood there.”

She continued,  “That moment mattered because so many people have come up to me over the years and told me how that moment shifted their thinking about what they could achieve, what they aspire to do or what they believed they could do – that they were touched by that moment,” she said. “That is the value that I know is real.”

Berry reviously addressed this topic in an 2020 intrview with Variety

“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,” she told the publication. “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.”

Berry continued, “I think it’s largely because there was no place for someone like me,” Berry 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.’ 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.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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