News for 12/7/2003

Solo Berry just keeps purring along

By William Keck
Special for USA TODAY

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. — A new love has found Halle Berry, and he's showering the 37-year-old Oscar winner with all the unconditional warmth and devotion she'd hoped for in marriage.

Officially separated since Oct. 1 from her second husband, R&B singer Eric Benet, Berry has fallen for one of the young male co-stars on the set of Catwoman, her high-kicking Batman spinoff now filming in Vancouver, British Columbia, for release in 2004. This time, Berry has given her heart to a rescued shelter cat named Fig Newton, one of 60 homeless felines being used in the film.

"I'm watching how he walks around and listening to how he purrs and how he plays and when he gets angry," Berry says of her "muse."

"He comes up with some good sounds he makes all night long that I'm definitely going to use."

Seated demurely on a sofa in a posh suite at L'Ermitage Hotel, Berry appears her usual gorgeous self, though perhaps more soft-spoken and less carefree.

She declines to give a preview of her Catwoman purr, just as she resists offering an update on the status of her marriage.

"It's all so personal and new and fresh," she explains.

All things considered, Berry says she's doing well, thanks in part to routine visits from Benet's 12-year-old daughter, India, whom she adopted, and regular therapy sessions, which come in handy now that she's playing a psychiatrist accused of murdering her husband in the supernatural thriller Gothika. It's due in theaters Nov. 21.

Chief among her priorities has been assisting her daughter through a difficult time of transition. "She's fine," Berry says. "Lots of kids deal with this. I was a product of a marriage that was less than perfect. She's resilient."

As is Berry, who has been a proponent of therapy all her life. As a child, her parents worked in hospitals: her father, Jerome, as an attendant, and her mother, Judith, as a nurse in the psychiatric ward of Cleveland's Veterans Administration Hospital. Although her father left the family home when she was 4, she has many memories from her mother's 35 years of employment.

Judith also routinely took young Halle to a therapist to help her deal with the absence of her father and the difficulties she experienced as a result of her biracial parentage. (Her father is black; her mother is white.)

"I had heavy issues I had to deal with," Berry says. "Kids are cruel. They called us Oreo cookies. It was hard to fit in. ... Therapy really helped me then, and I still have a good (therapist) now."

While shooting Gothika, Berry routinely sought her mother's advice on the technicalities of institutionalization. As a result, Berry had a scene in which her character is slapped by her psychiatrist (played by Robert Downey Jr.) cut from the film. "She helped bring some honesty to a story that is so far-fetched in some ways," Berry says.

"Far-fetched" is not a term Berry would necessarily apply to the supernatural elements of the film, in which ghostly visitors appear to both guide and terrorize her character. "I believe," she says of the supernatural. Unexplainable sounds and touches she experienced over a three-month period while filming her Golden Globe and Emmy-winning performance in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge opened her mind to the unknown. And years ago, Berry visited a medium who told her that she was surrounded by an unusual amount of angels and spirits guiding her through life.

"Apparently, they know I need more help than others," she jokes.

There have been times in Berry's life when she has felt on the brink of insanity. "Many times," she clarifies. "Sometimes heavy things; sometimes silly moments in life when you think, 'OK, I've got to be losing it.' I swear that I've lost my memory ... you know, I've had too much aspartame, because I swear I just cannot remember things like I used to — dates and details."

Memory loss played a significant role in Berry's life in February 2000 when she crashed her Chevy Blazer into another car on Sunset Boulevard and sped away from the scene. Berry says a severe head injury left her unable to recall details of the incident.

Although she has largely put the accident behind her (after paying $13,500 in fines and completing 200 hours of community service), the past came back to haunt her in Gothika, in which her character, Dr. Miranda Grey, wakes up in an institution for the criminally insane with no recollection of her husband's murder.

"When I read the script, I thought, 'Oh God, this could happen.' It kind of happened to me. ... I do know you can do something and not remember it. So that part of Miranda I totally related to and then feeling responsible for something that you have no memory of doing."

The Montreal shoot was difficult for Berry — as demanding, she says, as her Oscar-winning performance in Monster's Ball. She appears in most of the film with matted hair and no makeup; she broke her arm during an emotionally charged scene with Downey.

"I saw her psyching herself into a hell space that was so brave for her to go there," Downey says. "It was exhausting just to watch."

As for future projects, the Bond spinoff based on her Jinx character is still in development, despite reports that MGM has pulled the plug. She calls the script "wonderful." After Catwoman, she'll shoot a TV movie for Oprah Winfrey adapted from Their Eyes Were Watching God, followed by a role as a rape survivor in the low-budget, character-driven October Squall. And she hasn't ruled out a third turn as Storm in X-Men 3.

"I don't want to let Oscar make me feel like I can't still enjoy all the things I loved doing before that night," she says.

As Berry grows closer to her 40th birthday, she hopes pregnancy will be another project she'll soon take on.

"I would love that, but if I don't, I am so fulfilled with being (India's) mother. That maternal thing I was having about five years ago to be a mother and mother a child has been so filled. So if I don't, I won't feel like I missed out. I've evolved to a woman who can feel happy no matter what life has thrown my way."

Sadly, her blossoming love with Fig Newton may be in jeopardy. Fearing the kitty will not be welcomed by Polly and Willy, the two "spoiled and jealous" Maltese dogs awaiting her in L.A., Berry is considering finding him a new home once Catwoman wraps. She also will make a decision on her own living arrangements.

But for now, Fig Newton is the best medicine for her broken heart. "I'm giving him a good home for the next four months," she says. "And if I can't part with him, I'll just have to work something out."

News for 11/5/2003

The following interview appeared in the October 2003 issue of Elle Magazine

The following article appeared in the November 2003 issue of Premiere Magazine.

The following article appeared in the October 20, 2003 issue of People Magazine

News for 10/27/2003

Halle Berry's Jinx Spin-Off is a No-Go

Source: Variety

Halle Berry will not be seen again as the American spy in the Die Another Day spin-off Jinx, after all.

Much to the apparent dismay of Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson at Eon, MGM has nixed their planned spin-off movie featuring Berry's character, which was due to be made before the next Bond film.

Jinx was being written by Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Rob Wade, and was due to be directed by Stephen Frears (which hadn't been announced yet). Last week MGM told Eon to stop work on the project and press ahead instead with Bond 21, due to shoot in 2005.

News for 10/8/2003

Halle Berry Film Adds 'Real Women' Director

By Chris Gardner

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Real Women Have Curves" filmmaker Patricia Cardoso has come on board to direct Halle Berry in "Nappily Ever After," a comedy-drama about a black woman's journey to self-discovery.

Based on Trisha Thomas' novel, the Universal Pictures project follows the woman as she discovers a newfound freedom after impulsively shaving off her long and processed straight hair, and kicking out her commitment-phobic boyfriend. She is unprepared for how friends and co-workers at her advertising firm react to her new hairdo and subsequent new life.

In addition to the HBO-produced "Curves," Cardoso has directed "The Kingdom of Heaven" and "The Water Carrier of Cucunuba."

Berry, on a journey of self-discovery of her own after recently separating from husband Eric Benet, returns to theaters in November with the horror film "Gothika."

Actress Halle Berry separates from husband

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry said Wednesday she has separated from her husband of nearly three years, singer Eric Benet, citing ongoing marital difficulties.

"Eric and I have had marital problems for some time now and have tried to work things out together," Berry, 37, said in the statement issued by her publicist. "However, at this point, I feel we need time apart to reevaluate our union. We ask that you respect our privacy as we are going through this emotional time."

Berry, who won the Academy Award as best actress last year for her sexually charged performance in "Monster's Ball," met Benet backstage at a concert he gave several years ago. They married in January 2001.

Berry's previous marriage to former baseball player David Justice ended in divorce in 1996. The Cleveland-born actress was last seen in theaters as Storm in the big-screen superhero adventure "X2."

News for 7/22/2003

Halle Berry Takes Horror Cues From Dear Old Mom In 'Gothika'

From MTV.com

SAN DIEGO — Everything she needed to know about playing Storm was in the "X-Men" comic series. There was a long line of Bond gals to look toward for "Die Another Day." And when it came time to prepare for the supernatural horror flick "Gothika," Halle Berry didn't need to look any further than her own family.

Set for release in October, the forthcoming thriller stars the Oscar-winning actress as a criminal psychologist who wakes up a patient in the same mental institution where she's employed.

"My mother was a psych nurse for 35 years, so the world of psychology is one that I know pretty well," Berry explained, standing backstage at San Diego's International Comic Convention, or "Comic-Con," over the weekend. "I've been around it my whole life. And so I felt particularly comfortable with this genre and this script."

In "Gothika," Berry's Dr. Miranda Grey is accused of murdering her husband although she has no memory of committing the crime. And as she fights to prove her innocence, she begins to find herself being manipulated by an angry spirit.

"This is a great character like I've never, ever played before," proclaimed Berry, still sporting a brace from when she broke a bone between her wrist and elbow while working on the film. "It's a strong character. It's a woman in jeopardy, a woman on the brink. And I love to play those characters."

"Gothika" also stars Penélope Cruz ("Vanilla Sky") as mental patient Chloe, Robert Downey Jr. ("Chaplin") as Berry's colleague, Dr. Pete Graham, and Charles S. Dutton (TV's "The Corner") as her doomed husband and chief administrator of the prison psychiatric ward, Dr. Doug Grey.

The film is the English-language debut of French director Mathieu Kassovitz and was produced by Dark Castle Entertainment, the same production company behind "13 Ghosts," "Ghost Ship" and "House on Haunted Hill."

Berry said she finished working on "Gothika" last week, just in time to start thinking about her upcoming role as Catwoman in the in-development flick of the same name. Berry is also attached to a movie based on her Jinx character from the James Bond flick "Die Another Day."

Berry: Storm Change Due

From SciFi.com

Halle Berry, who has played Storm in two X-Men movies, told SCI FI Wire that she is lobbying for improvements in the way the character is portrayed in a proposed third film—whether she plays her again or not. "After every movie, ... the real die-hard fans come up to me, and they often say, 'Yeah, you know, Storm was OK. But she should do more. She should fly. She should fight. She should be more of what she is in the comic-book series,'" Berry said in an interview at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Berry added, "I'm not really complaining. I'm happy to be a part of it. It's been a great franchise to be a part of. But I think the fans feel that in the comic books, she's represented as a little bit more of a leader, and she uses her powers a little bit more than just changing her eyes and doing the weather. I think they want to see her do a little more things. So, as they continue to tell me this, I continue to try to pass this along, to no avail. So that maybe the next time, Storm will be ... whether I play Storm or not ... maybe the character will get to do more of what she traditionally does in the comic books."

Berry said that she hasn't made up her mind yet about whether to reprise the role again. "No, I haven't," she said. "Simply because I haven't seen a script. I haven't been offered the third movie, you know? So I have no idea if it'll come my way or not."

News for 6/30/2003

Spears, Costner and Berry Getting Stars

By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Britney Spears, Kevin Costner and Halle Berry are getting stars on Hollywood's celebrated Walk of Fame.

Glenn Close, Anthony Hopkins, John Singleton, Ted Turner, Journey and 17-year-old twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will also get the sidewalk honor next year. The new inductees were announced Thursday by Johnny Grant, chairman of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

"There's a favorite on this list for everybody. We have both young and veteran performers and local, national and international stars," Grant said. "The induction ceremonies will generate a lot of excitement for our residents and visitors from around the world."

The inductees represent film, television, radio, live theater and recording. Grant said they were chosen from hundreds of nominations during a June 13 meeting.

'Robots' to Feature McGregor, Berry, Brooks

HOLLYWOOD (Zap2it.com) - Award-winning director Chris Wedge ("Ice Age") is reteaming with Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios for his next animated feature, "Robots." They've already lined up the cast and even the opening date.

Populating the "Robots" universe are Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor), a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place; Cappy (Halle Berry), a sexy executive ‘bot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten; the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet who locks horns with Rodney; Big Weld (Mel Brooks), a master inventor who has lost his way; and a group of misfit ‘bots known as the Rusties.

The cast also includes Drew Carey, Jim Broadbent, Stanley Tucci, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Coolidge, Paul Giamatti, Dan Hedaya, DL Hughley, Jamie Kennedy, Harland Williams, Sofia Vergara, and Amanda Bynes.

News for 6/2/2003

Halle Berry's December 2002 Vogue Magazine Interview

News for 5/29/2003

People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2003 featuring Halle Berry.

From the 2003 Post Oscar Issue of Entertainment Weekly.

Halle Berry Named World's Sexiest Woman

HOLLYWOOD (Zap2it.com) - Halle Berry has been named the world's sexiest woman by FHM magazine. The actress is the oldest winner at 36 and is also the first black recipient of the honor after beating Australian actress Holly Valance (who stars in Aussie TV series "Neighbours") to top spot in the poll.

"I thank you very much for choosing me -- wow,” Berry says in the magazine about her win. “That's a pretty heady title. I'm not so sure I live up to it, but thank you anyway for choosing me."

More than five million votes were cast for this year's FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2003 competition.

When asked what her sexiest feature is, Berry answered: "I think my feet are my sexiest body part,” adding that, "people I find really sexy include Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and my mum."

Berry shot up from 33rd place in 2002. The oldest previous winner was Teri Hatcher in 1997, who was 32 at the time.

Last year's winner, tennis player/model Anna Kournikova, dropped to eighth place this year, while Britney Spears retains third place for the second year running and Carmen Electra is fifth. Jennifer Lopez -- a two-time winner -- dropped two places to number six.

News for 5/19/2003

Berry Breaks Arm Filming 'Gothika' Scene

LOS ANGELES - Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry broke her right arm while filming a scene for the supernatural thriller "Gothika" in Canada, a publicist for the movie said Thursday.

Berry, 36, was filming "one of the more physically demanding scenes" when she was hurt Wednesday, said Joe Everett, a spokesman for the Warner Bros. production.

Everett did not have details of the scene.

Berry broke her ulna, a long bone in the forearm, and was treated at a Montreal hospital and released, Everett said.

The movie was in its fifth week of a nine-week shoot. It was unclear when she might return to the set. Berry plays a criminal psychologist who wakes up to find that she is accused of murdering her husband and is a patient in the asylum where she works.

"Gothika" is set for release in October.

Berry won the best-actress Oscar for her role in 2001's "Monster's Ball."

She suffered an eye injury while filming an action sequence in Spain for 2002's James Bond movie, "Die Another Day."

News for 3/15/2003

Halle Berry's Purr-fect Role?

By Josh Grossberg

Halle Berry's gone from dying another day to having nine lives.

After back-to-back cartoonish turns as Jinx in Die Another Day and Storm in the upcoming X-Men sequel X2, Berry is ready to play Gotham's favorite sex kitten in Warner Bros.' long-planned Catwoman movie, reports Daily Variety.

Okay comic geeks, start drooling.

We all know Berry likes working out in leather outfits, having watched her battle baddies as butt-kicking Bond babe Jinx (a role that proved so popular with producers that she's in talks to spin off the role into her own movie franchise) and as the white-haired weather-channeling mutant Storm in the two X-Men flicks.

While Catwoman will allow her to tap into her inner kitty, let's hope it'll also give her better one-liners than the duds she had in X-Men ("Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else").

To that end, the studio says it's satisfied with a rewrite of John Rogers' original screenplay, tweaked by scribes Mike Ferris and John Brancato, enough to give the go-ahead to start production. Shooting on Catwoman is slated for later this year.

The flick, which will be helmed by French filmmaker Pitof (best known Stateside for doing the visual effects for 1997's Alien: Resurrection), will find the felonious feline transitioning from supporting villain to star in what's being billed as a dark, stylistic noir à la the first two installments of gloommeister Tim Burton's Batman franchise.

Of course, Burton introduced Michelle Pfeiffer as the Caped Crusader's purr-fect foil in the second installment, Batman Returns. Pfeiffer slunk sexily around rooftops in that tight-fitting dominatrix getup and alternately turned on and tortured our hero with her trusty whip.

Following that film, Pfeiffer and Burton had hoped to give Catwoman her own pedigree franchise, but the project took a catnap until two years ago, when Warners resurrected it with Ashley Judd in the role. But by the time the writers finally hashed out a workable script, Judd was forced to bail because--ironically enough--she had already agreed to sink her claws into the role of Maggie the Cat in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which would've conflicted with Catwoman's filming.

Berry's name surfaced in about two weeks, Variety says, and studio execs sat down with her handlers on Thursday. The studio hopes to get a deal done fast. Before she gets her puss on, however, Berry must shoot Warners' Gothika with Robert Downey Jr. and Penélope Cruz. Cameras roll on that project in the coming weeks.

She'll next be seen in X2, due out May 2 from 20th Century Fox.

Berry, who became the first African American to win a Best Actress Oscar last year for her emotionally unsettling performance in the interracial drama Monster's Ball, would become the second black woman to take on Catwoman, following in the paw prints of Eartha Kitt, who was one of three actresses to play the part on the 1960s Batman TV series.

Speaking of the Caped Crusader, Warner Bros. is also attempting to revive its Batman series, with both a prequel, Batman: Year One, and a futuristic live-action version of the WB 'toon Batman Beyond in the works.

The studio is also looking for a new Man of Steel to commit to a three-picture deal to get its long-dormant Superman franchise flying again.

With A-listers like Nicolas Cage and Johnny Depp shunning the tights, Warners is reportedly down to Brendan Fraser and soap-opera star Matthew Bomer as the latest Krypton kid and has approached former Felicity star Keri Russell to play Lois Lane and Justin Timberlake to essay Jimmy Olson.