Halle has such a way with words.
Halle Berry is the subject of a pretty cool NY Times blog feature this week. Inside she talks candidly about her new role in the upcoming film Cloud Atlas, her race, her relationships and raising Nahla away from the paps. We’ve got the best excerpts for you here…
Via NYT T Magazine Blog:
On The Paparazzi:
“They’re outside my house every morning,” she says.“I get it about the celebrity stuff,” she tells me softly, sliding into her seat. “It’s part of my job to recognize that there’s a certain part of my life the public wants to hear about. But it’s not O.K. that they’re doing terrible things to my daughter. One night, after they chased us, it took me two hours just to get her calmed down enough to get to sleep.”
On Her Bad Choices In Men:
“My picker’s broken,” she says with a laugh. “God just wanted to mix up my life. Maybe he was thinking, ‘This girl can’t get everything! I’m going to give her a broken picker.’ ” She says it’s fixed now.
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On Her Looks:
“just because they see my face doesn’t mean they see me. A person’s self-esteem has nothing to do with how she looks.
“If it’s true that I’m beautiful,” she adds, “I’m proof of that. Self-esteem comes from who you have in your life. How you were raised. What you struggled with as a child.”
On Her Childhood:
After her mother showed up for the first time at her all-black elementary school, Berry was shunned. “Kids said I was adopted,” she says. “Overnight, I didn’t fit in anymore.” When the family moved to the suburbs in search of a better education for Berry and her sister, she was suddenly the lone black child in a nearly all-white school. People left Oreo cookies in her locker. When she was elected prom queen, the school principal accused her of stuffing the ballot box and suggested she and the white runner-up flip a coin to see who got to be queen. Berry won the toss.
“I always had to prove myself through my actions,” she says. “Be a cheerleader. Be class president. Be the editor of the newspaper. It gave me a way to show who I was without being angry or violent. By the time I left school, I had a lot of tenacity. I’d turned things around.”
Hit the flip for Halle’s take on being a black woman and being biracial.
On Defining Herself As A Black Woman:
When she was 16, her mother stood with her in front of a mirror and asked what she saw. “My mother helped me identify myself the way the world would identify me,” Berry says. “Bloodlines didn’t matter as much as how I would be perceived” — as beautiful but also as a black woman in a world in which the images of beautiful, successful black women were notably absent.
“My mother tried hard,” Berry says. “But there was no substitute for having a black woman I could identify with, who could teach me about being black.”
A black school counselor named Yvonne Sims entered her life in fifth grade. She remains one of Berry’s closest friends. “Yvonne taught me not to let the criticism affect me. She inspired me to be the best and gave me a model of a great black woman.”
On Being Biracial:
“Being biracial is sort of like being in a secret society,” she says. “Most people I know of that mix have a real ability to be in a room with anyone, black or white.”
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On Staying Humble:
“I come from humble beginnings,” she says. “I always felt like the underdog. Behind the eight ball. I learned not to be too high on the hog. Even that night I won the Oscar, I had a fundamental knowing, it was just a moment in time. Driving home that night, back to my house, I felt like Cinderella. I said, ‘When this night is over, I’m going back to who I was.’ And I did.”
On Her Desire To Move To France:
“I can’t grow my daughter in L.A.,” she tells me. “You take a little child who is just trying to learn about the world and have all these people with cameras chasing after her, calling things out to her about her mother. It’s starting to make her feel special and different. I want her to feel special and different, but not for the reason of being my child.”
We’ll be honest, we’re starting to feel bad for what Halle has to go through with the paps. We thought she was just being extra before but after all these interviews she’s painting a pretty sad picture.
What do you think of Halle saying being biracial is like being in a secret society? And would God really decide to make it tough on her to pick the right guys just because she’s so blessed in other areas? Seems to us like her own issues are more to blame.
Photo Credit: Cedric Buchet