We all believe pretty girls can have whatever they want at the snap of their fingers but if anyone asks Halle Berry, her answers will be the contrary. The Oscar-winning actress has revealed the pains she had to bear at the beginning of her Hollywood career.
Berry, 50, claims she was underrated because of her gorgeous and fragile looks. She had to beg movie directors and scriptwriters to take her seriously.
Image: Halle Berry
“I came from the world of beauty pageants and modeling and right away when people heard that I got discounted as an actor,” the modeling icon told W magazine.
“[Talking about the weird reason she went into beauty pageants] Actually, my boyfriend at the time wanted a beauty pageant girlfriend.
“So he entered me and I got this letter in the mail saying, ‘You are a finalist in the Miss Team Ohio,’ and I thought, ‘Uh, what is this?’ And then he told me, ‘Oh, by the way, I sent your prom picture in and now you have to go’.”
The actress went further in revealing what transpired on her first trial at the pageants. In her words: …”So I took my prom dress–It was quite taffeta, hoop skirt, off the shoulders, almost like I was getting married–and I went to this contest, thought it was fun, and I ended up winning.
“And once you start winning these things it’s like a snowball. And you have to go to the next one and if you when there you go to the next one, and I kept winning all the way until the Miss USA pageant where I did not win. I was first runner up to Christy Fichtner. And that ended my beauty pageant career.”
Image: Halle Berry
However, Berry made a breakthrough in acting when Spike Lee enrolled her for “Jungle Fever”, a 1991 movie. Her beauty almost got in the way of what turned out to be a successful role.
“Spike Lee wanted me to read for the part of his wife and I read that part fine enough, but then I said to Spike, ‘You know, I really am eyeing this crack ho role, can you please let me audition for that?’
“He said, ‘no, no I don’t see you as the crack ho’. I said, ‘I am the crack ho. Really deep down I’m the crack ho!’ And he was like, ‘No, I don’t see it.’ And I said, ‘Let me go in the bathroom, wash all this makeup off; you will see eyeing the crack ho’.
“He let me do that and I came back out and I got to read the crack ho, and I got the part of the of the crack ho. And it was an amazing way to start my career, playing a crack ho directed by Spike Lee. It was major for me.”
Image: Spike Lee Daniels
The actress reveals she had to work hard towards landing movie roles that has no connection with facial looks. That helped grant her some credibility within the entertainment industry.
In her explanations, the experience she acquired in Hollywood over a period of 10 years wasn’t impressive enough for Lee Daniels, the 56-year-old producer of blockbuster movie: “Monsters Ball” (2001).
Image: Halle Berry
Despite the first-time denial, Halle made another huge breakthrough after she was finally offered a dream role which she perfectly interpreted.
“Lee Daniels didn’t want to see me read,” the actress said.
“He was actually disgusted by the thought. He thought there’s no way and my argument to him was, just because someone looks a certain way doesn’t mean that they are spared adversity. Adversity does not discriminate.
“I thought, ‘My looks haven’t spared me one hardship or one hurt moment or one painful situation. So please, you know, give me a shot at this’. I said, ‘I often think it’s more interesting when you see someone that looks a certain way struggle in ways that you wouldn’t think they would be struggling with’.”
Berry went on to win an Oscar for her role in the film, becoming the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award.
An X-rated scene from Halle Berry’s award winning movie: “Monsters Ball”.
“He ultimately gave me a chance and that sort of changed the course of my career in so many ways,” Berry said about Daniels.