Halle Berry: An Oscar Winner, An Upcoming Director, And A Simple Woman With Big Dreams

“You’re usually breaking down some barrier, and I know what it takes to do that”

Halle Berry was the first Black woman to ever represent the United States in the 1986 Miss World pageant. This girl who left her home in Ohio in the ’80s and moved to New York City for her passion for acting didn’t know that she would be an inspiration for the generations to come. This 54-year-old actress has a number of notable films in her bag from being a Bond girl to a big-screen comic character she has done it all.

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Halle Berry was the first-ever African American woman to win the Oscars

“[I was] trying to have agency, and find quality, and find a place where I could have a voice and I could be heard and I could be seen,” Halle Berry says on being the “first” at so many things in Hollywood while talking to InStyle.

Halle Berry was the first-ever African American woman to win the Oscars for Best Actress in Monster’s Ball. Not only was it a huge step for all the Black women in the industry but it was also a must needed change back in the day. Berry was already a mother of two when she got the honor.

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When the interviewer described her mother’s emotional moment on the actress’ win for Oscars she simply said, “I feel like I touched someone I didn’t even know in such a profound way. Those are the moments that it’s really all about, to hear wonderful stories like that.”

According to Berry Viola Davis is a strong contender for the Oscars

While Berry had held the torch of some major revolutions in Hollywood she feels like there would be more representation of color aside herself. She feels like this year Viola Davis is a strong candidate for the Oscars.

“The heartbreak for me is I’m still the only one,” she says. “But I think this year, I am feeling like Viola Davis will be standing next to me — she damn well should be — so I will no longer be alone, and hopefully that will further open that door.”

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Halle Berry’s Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker First Women Campaign

Berry is playing an active part in launching more and more campaigns for women empowerment. She is a part of Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker First Women Campaign, alongside women like Katie Couric and Salt-N-Pepa, to provide $10,000 in funding for 15 groundbreaking women-owned businesses across the country.

“It’s a huge honor, because I do know what it takes to be the first, and I know the kind of dedication and focus and tenacity one has to have. You’re usually breaking down some barrier, and I know what it takes to do that,” she says.

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Talking about her partner Katie Couric she says, “Katie Couric is one of my heroes,” she tells while clearly being proud to be a part of this campaign. “I wanted to be a journalist before I became an actress, and she is someone that I deeply, deeply admire.”

“I grew up with Salt-N-Pepa, they were women that I looked to when I was about their age and growing,” she tells. “I saw women in the rap game, in the music industry, really finding their voice and coming into their own, and that was really, really inspiring.”

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Halle Berry’s passion for direction

Halle Berry is not only establishing her steps in the acting genre but she also wants to experience direction. The actress is now working behind the camera and wants to explore more about the field to pave way for more talent. She says that right now we need to show the real world in art and movies and it can be done by the representation of more people of color.

“We have to direct, we have to write, we have to produce, we have to have studios,” she shares. “It’s about realizing that we’re evolving as a society, and our movies and our art that we produce has to reflect the world in which we live. The only way we do that is to allow people — men and women of color — to be in those positions to create those stories that are important to a large segment of the population.”

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No Pressure for Another Oscar

Right now Berry is under no pressure to win another Oscar. she is all about living her life and following her “direction” passion. She feels that her goal is to “work on things” and take risks and in the while great moments will be created just by that.

“I try to remind myself that every year, if I don’t win an Oscar it doesn’t mean I’m not talented,” she shares. “It doesn’t mean that I have to put undue pressure on myself to recreate that moment. Some of these moments are once in a lifetime moments, they can’t be recreated.”

“The goal is to just continue to work on things I love that inspire me and taking those risks,” she says. “That’s how you get to those great moments.”

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