It was 1993, and she was all of 26 years old, and was on the Arsenio Hall show to push Queen, the TV mini-series she starred in that year.
7 long years later, she made Monster’s Ball (probably the one role she’ll always be remembered for, given all the controversy that film drew); and then Oscar came calling, and she made history, becoming the first (and still the ONLY) black actress to win the Best Actress in a leading role Oscar.
In the 10-minute clip, she and Arsenio Hall cover a variety of things, including, something that’s STILL very much a source of debate and analysis on sites like S&A, and across the black blogosphere – the colorism in casting issue.
In reference to that subject, Halle recalls almost being fired from Strictly Business in 1991, because she was “too light,” said the director (before Kevin Hooks took over the project), adding that he/she was “tired of seeing interracial actresses like Halle Berry being cast in roles over darker-skinned black women…”
But it’s been a tough road for Ms Berry since winning that Oscar over a decade ago. Not that she’s struggling by any means. But the promises that often come with winning an Oscar haven’t quite materialized for her… yet.
Most recently, despite mostly negative reviews, her last theatrical release, the thriller, The Call, quietly grossed about $52 million. That may not seem like much, nor is that what you’d call a blockbuster figure, but keep in mind that this is a film that cost only $13 million.
In Tyler Perry’s Lionsgate world, where you’ll find similar cost/gross ratios, that’s considered a hit!
And, by the way, the $52 million doesn’t include international receipts either.
If Halle can stay in that “sweet spot” – low budget, quadruple box office – with the occasional blockbuster, I think she’ll be just fine, and may find herself able to get more low budget films greenlit.
Up next for her, a comedy titled Mother, that was announced just last month, and is set to go into production early next year.
To be produced by Berry’s manager Vincent Cirrincione and Emilio Ferrari, with financing coming from Ferrari’s Entertainment 7 shingle, via FCM Capital Partners, Mother tells the story of a bride who leaves her mobster fiancée at the altar and has to go on the run. She pretends to be the mother of a young man (hence the title), where she plans to hide out, to prevent capture. But, of course, things don’t all go as planned, and her wild and crazy nature, threatens to expose her, and turn her plans upside-down.
Not only will Berry star as the bride, she will also co-produce the film.
No director is attached to the project yet. And no word on who else will join Halle in front of the camera.
Likely before that film debuts, catch her reprising her role as Storm in X-Men: Days of Future Past next year.
Happy 47th Birthday Halle Berry!
Feel free to share your favorite Halle Berry performances in the comment section below.
First, here’s her 1993 appearance on the Arsenio Hall show: