X Men 3 Halle Berry Interview


Halle Berry once again
stars as Storm, in the new film: X-MEN: THE LAST STAND. The third
chapter in the enormously popular X-Men trilogy promises to be the
most exciting yet – as a cure for mutancy is discovered, which
threatens to alter the course of history. Will the mutants survive,
with their powers intact? In this film, the Oscar winning actress is
central to the plot. We find out what makes her fascinating character
tick? Who is Storm? What motivates this woman and where will the
latest journey take her? Back with Berry is the familiar star cast,
including Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Sir. Ian McKellen and Anna

Berry has played a significant part in each X MEN film, but in the
long-awaited X MEN THE LAST STAND, we discover much more about her
compelling character. Of course, this is an ensemble cast, as Berry
herself points out,
but X MEN fans across the world can look forward to a contribution
from the Oscar winning star that is more substantial and

chapter in the X MEN trilogy looks set to be extraordinary. If the
cure for mutancy works, what will that mean for this group of people
who are identified by their special powers and have spent their lives
dealing with the fact they are minorities, ostracized from society?
How will they deal with prospect of becoming ordinary mortals –
no different from anyone else?

stars of the first two X-MEN films are reunited in this movie,
directed by Brett Ratner. Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine, Sir Ian
McKellen as Magneto, and Patrick Stewart as Xavier. There are also
newcomers joining the cast. Kelsey Grammer plays Dr. Henry McCoy, or
Beast. He is a geneticist who is covered in blue fur. Vinnie Jones
plays the unstoppable strongman, Juggernaut. Ellen Page stars as
Kitty Pride or Shadowcat, she can pass through solid matter by
‘phasing’ and Ben Foster plays Warren Worthington III, or
Angel, he has wings and can fly. The film’s producers are
Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter. Comics legend and X MEN
co-creator, Stan Lee is executive producer along with Avi Arad.

a little girl growing up in Ohio, Halle Berry dreamed of becoming a
princess. She did become a teenage beauty queen and successful model,
but Berry turned to acting, quickly proving that she possessed an
unusual talent. Her looks are of course legendary, but the actress
never traded on glamour, instead she preferred strong acting roles
and never had any problem playing against type. From the start, she
refused to be typecast, persuading director Spike Lee to cast her as
a crack addict in the 1991 film JUNGLE FEVER. It was a harrowing
performance which won the actress great reviews. Her early film

went onto star opposite Warren Beatty in the acclaimed BULWORTH and
then in 1999, realized a life-long dream, portraying the
singer-actress, DOROTHY DANDRIDGE, who broke racial barriers when she
became the first black woman to be nominated for a best actress
Oscar. Berry also produced the HBO film. Then In a career-defining
role, she won the best actress Oscar in 2001, for her performance as
a struggling waitress with a husband on death row in MONSTER’S

starred as Storm in the popular film, X-MEN, reprising the role in
the 2003 film, X2. Her other film credits include SWORDFISH, DIE
ANOTHER DAY, opposite Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, CATWOMAN and the
thriller, GOTHIKA.

39, has Type 2 Diabetes and is involved in charity work to increase
awareness about the disease and raise funds for research. She is
currently single and says she would love a family. The following
interview was conducted on a day off from filming the drama PERFECT
STRANGER with Bruce Willis, where she was relaxing at home in her New
York apartment.

What is Storm’s role in this film and how much character
development is there this time?

“I do have a more prominent role, but it would be an
exaggeration to say the film centers around Storm, It is still X-Men
and there is an ensemble cast. There are a lot of new characters
who we introduce as well. I just think that the screen time Storm has
this time is really more meaningful, because she has a much more
definitive point of view. She has a voice now and you really
understand who she is a little bit better. When she spoke before, it
was a little ambiguous and vague; she never really had anything
insightful to say about who she was. This time, she doesn’t say
a lot, but you understand who she is and where she is coming from.”

So who is she – what kind of woman is Storm?

“I think Storm is a really strong woman who has great moral and
ethical fiber. She is a warrior, in the sense that she will fight for
what she believes in. She will say exactly what she thinks, even if
it does not represent the majority view. I think she is that kind of
lady. In this movie she gets to express her voice, she actually goes
toe to toe with Wolverine and I think that is pretty impressive for
Storm, because in the past X-Men films, she hasn’t challenged
anybody. This time there is a much more interesting dynamic between
them and she is more assertive.”

Can you say anything more about that dynamic?

“In one scene she challenges Wolverine’s beliefs and asks
him to ‘step up to the plate or step off’. She will not
accept any of his indecisiveness and she tells him that he has to
make a choice. She is almost saying ‘make a choice, I don’t
even care what it is as long as you make one, because I need to know
which side you are on’.”

Were there any challenges for you in this film?

“I never thought that keeping my lunch down would be an issue,
or anything I would have to worry about. But I felt very sick some
days, because I had to do a lot of spinning and I came to realize
that I have a very weak stomach.”

What was it like working with Brett Ratner, the director?

“It was really good, he is like a five year-old, he is a lot of
fun and I welcomed his energy and sense of wonder about X- MEN. He
had never done it before, so he wasn’t jaded, it was not ‘old
hat’ for him, it was all brand new and you sense that. You will
see a lot of his excitement that comes over in the movie that stems
from his passion and fresh approach.”

Did you have to do anything special to prepare for the film
physically; did you do an intense workout regime?

“I did not have to do anything special for this film. I am
usually in pretty good physical health and good shape. I have to be
because of my diabetes. So I work out because it is good for optimum
health, it is part of my lifestyle and general routine on a daily
basis. I did spend a little bit of time with the stunt coordinator
doing some wirework because I had to fly and spin in the movie but
there was no big training regime, I just put the suit on.”

What do you do in general to stay fit?

“I do some sort of cardio four or five times a week whether it
be running or biking or rowing or stairs. Sometimes in New York,
where I am now, it is a lot of walking. I do weight training. but not
heavy weights. It is never my goal to bulk up. I just want to
stay healthy and trim and fit, so that I am able to be agile as I get

What is it like being platinum blonde and wearing the white wig for

“It is not even platinum blonde or white, her hair is gray this
time, so it was a little daunting to put on a head full of gray hair.
I thought ‘am I really going to make a movie looking like
this?’ I thought ‘great!’ But after a couple of
weeks, it became normal to me and I actually started to like it. So I
thought, ‘OK as I get older I have nothing to worry about, I
will be fine with a head full of gray hair.’ ”

What do you look for in films; you have never been afraid of looking
unattractive or less glamorous?

“I am really comfortable with myself and the way I look. I
started my career playing a crack addict in JUNGLE FEVER and got the
beauty thing off the table and I love that. I love roles that allow
me to do that and I know that as I get older, I will continue to
choose roles that are age appropriate and I have no problem with not
being an ing?e. I have no problem ageing and acting in front
of the world. That is a challenge that I am looking forward to in
fact. I want to continue to work and expose that part of myself, I
am not afraid of my looks changing on and off screen at all.”

Why do you think there is such massive excitement about X-MEN across
the world?

“Everybody can relate to the subject matter. Everybody has felt
like an outcast and always will on some level I think. Whether you
are black or white or pink, you can relate to what that is and it is
seductive. Everybody can relate to being unfairly judged,
especially being judged by the things that are totally out of their
control. For me as a woman and a woman of color, the whole core of my
being can understand what that is like and I can relate to it, so I
think it has brought me closer to everyday people and I need that, it
has been wonderful for me.”

How exciting has it been for you doing the X Men films and this one
in particular?

“The X MEN films have been a big part of my career for the past
decade. They have been important films to be a part of, because they
are so beloved by so many people, young and old. And the comic book
has something really profound to say. It is very cerebral for a
comic book and I love being a part of something that so many people
relate to.”

As an Oscar winner for MONSTER’S BALL and as one of the
world’s most respected actresses, is it still easy for you to
relate to people?

“Well you know what? Everyday I wake up with this brown skin –
I don’t care how much money I have, I don’t care how many
movies I do, I don’t care how many awards I have on my shelf,
every day I am still aware that I am a woman of color in this
country, and there is still certain discrimination that goes along
with that and that does not change. No amount of money or awards
changes that. What changes discrimination is the consciousness of
people, I do see that gradually changing, but are we there? I do not
think that we live in a colorblind society, where racism is null and
void. That is pretty absurd, but I believe that it is possible that
things are moving in that direction and I believe that one day, color
and race won’t matter, I hope I am here to see it but it hasn’t
happened yet.”

Do you feel optimistic?

“I do, I think things are changing and I think there have been
many bridges that have closed the gap. That is partly happening
with pop culture today, when you see little white kids walking down
the street ‘bee bopping’ to black ethnic music. That says
to me ‘wow something is changing’. When you see Tiger
Woods playing golf, dominating a sport that is basically white and
male driven, I say ‘wow’. I think one day we will all
just be people trying to figure out the whole experience of life,
because that is what we are here to do.”

What are your criteria for choosing roles these days and do you feel
a responsibility to take on inspiring films as well as simply
entertaining movies?

“I do feel a responsibility on a larger scale, but I am also
very aware of the responsibility that I have to myself. I think that
as an actor and when we think about creating art, we have to remember
that we are not curing cancer here, we are just entertaining. How
insignificant is that in the scheme of life? But there is a social
responsibility that I feel at times, when I have the opportunity to
put an important subject at the forefront, so that people will think
about it, something that could influence pop culture. I love to do
that but I want to be mindful as well that it is important to satisfy
myself and do things that I find personally challenging or things
that that will be fun for me, and not carry the weight of the world
on my shoulders with every choice that I make.”

How passionate and enjoyable is acting for you at this point in your

“I love it. I was just talking to James Foley, the director of
PERFECT STRANGER, the film I am working on now. I said ‘how
lucky are we just to go to a job that feels like child’s play?
We just make believe and we get to walk on the set and pretend we
are people we are not’. We don’t sit at a desk, we’re
not confined, we go to great locations, meet interesting people and
get to do things that we would never do otherwise, I feel really

Do you have a philosophy or approach to work?

“ I do know that what I love about my job is that each time I
make a film, I get to take a new risk and a new challenge and stretch
myself as an artist. I grow with each experience. Whether the role is
outwardly positive or negative, it is all positive for me because I
become better at my job. That is the way I live my life. In my
personal life I continue to grow and take chances – sometimes you
win, sometimes you lose, but you just have to keep going. And that is
how I approach my career. I do what I believe in. I love it and I do
think this is what I am meant to be doing with my life.”

What do you mean by that, is this your destiny, your purpose in life?

“Yes I really do feel that I am meant be doing this and that
everyone is meant to be doing something. We all have choices, but it
is fate, because I don’t know why I would be acting otherwise.
As a child I never dreamed of doing this, but somehow I was led to do
this path and career.”

What did you dream of as a little girl if it wasn’t acting?

“I wanted to be a princess, and wear a crown and be a member of
the royal family. Then when I got past five years old, I wanted to be
a doctor, because my mother was a nurse and I was interested in
medicine. She worked on a psychiatric ward, so then I got interested
in that and wanted to be a psychologist. Later as I got into my
teenage years, I realized that I had a knack for writing and I
thought I would like to be a journalist. I loved telling stories. So
none of those things I dreamed of came to fruition.”

You can get to live every one of those on screen though as an

“Yes that is true and anytime I walk down the red carpet to an
awards show I feel like a princess, I feel ‘wow’. It is
only for about five hours, but I guess that is what a princess would
feel like. I do experience a lot of different kinds of lives. I never
thought I would be a crack head and I have been able to play that. I
get to try it all out.”

In the broadest sense, who or what do you think led you to acting?

“Whatever that higher being is. It is different for everybody.
I think I have always been aware of some higher power and I have been
connected to it. There has always been that little voice, that
intuition inside of me. I think that if you listen to that inner
voice, you will end up where you are supposed to be and you will
fulfill your destiny. So I am trying really hard and getting a lot
better at listening and following that path, I am learning to trust

How specifically do you do that on a day-to-day basis?

“ I meditate. But it is hard to do it regularly, because with
my lifestyle I haven’t got a lot of time. But I love to catch
the wave, no matter where it ends. Things just pop into my head out
of nowhere sometimes and that voice guides me and tells me what to
do. I haven’t always been good at that but I am getting much,
much better.”

Did things change for you in your career as a result of winning the

Yes and no. More people around the world knew who I was but it did
not mean that the struggle stopped, to get good work. This is a very
competitive industry and it always has been and will be, I don’t
care how many awards and accolades you have. You have to work very
hard and have thick skin and be able to take risks, take chances.
None of that has changed.”

Is it easier for women now in film, in Hollywood?

“I think it easier because we as women have different attitudes
nowadays. We have decided it is going to be easier and we’ve
decided to create some of our own projects and I think that makes it
easier. There was a time when women bought into the idea that it was
hard and that after the age of 40 there would be no work. But if you
buy into that, then that is exactly what you are going to manifest. I
think women are changing their thinking and approach.”

What are your hopes and dreams?

“ I want to keep working and I want to have a family, one way
or another I would love to have children, that will happen I am sure
of it. There has to be more to life than just working. A big dream
of mine is to be able to take care of my mother, who worked so hard
to take care of me. She was a single parent and one of my biggest
joys right now is that I am moving her out to LA from Cleveland to
be closer to me. She has a house that she loves and I just want to be
able to give her whatever her heart desires for the rest of her life.
That is a very big dream for me. She is not a person who wants a lot,
so it is not that challenging.”

She must be so proud of you?

“I think she is, I don’t think she ever thought I would
end up doing this with my life and she tells me often that what I do
is great. But I think she is more happy that I haven‘t changed
a lot over the years, that I am still me and that we have time
together and I care about her. We are the same as we always were and
I think that is what makes her most happy and proud, more than the
movies, if you want to know the truth.”

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