Halle Berry took home the coveted Best Actress Oscar for her role in Monster’s Ball in 2002 and she admitted she thought her historical win would “open the door” for more females of color, so she’s disappointed that hasn’t happened.
She told The New York Times newspaper: “It didn’t open the door.
“The fact that there’s no one standing next to me is heartbreaking,” she said.
But Berry insisted the lack of acknowledgment at the Academy Awards doesn’t detract from the “great” work being done in the industry by women of color.
“We can’t always judge success or progress by how many awards we have. Awards are the icing on the cake — they’re your peers saying you were exceptionally excellent this year — but does that mean that if we don’t get the exceptionally excellent nod, that we were not great, and we’re not successful, and we’re not changing the world with our art, and our opportunities aren’t growing?” she said.
Berry — who was only the seventh woman of color to be shortlisted for the award — has “no memory” of accepting the honor after Russell Crowe revealed her to have won ahead of Nicole Kidman, Dame Judi Dench, Sissy Spacek and Renee Zellweger.
“I don’t have any memory of it. I don’t even know how I got up there. It was totally a blackout moment. All I remember is Russell Crowe saying, ‘Breathe, mate.’ And then I had a golden statue in my hand, and I just started talking,” she said.
Berry recently directed her first movie, Bruised, and thinks that in itself is proof the industry is changing.
“Twenty years ago, a Black woman directing a movie about the fight genre? I don’t think I could’ve even wrapped my brain around it. That’s proof to me that things are changing,” she said.