HALLE BERRY NEWS, INTERVIEWS & UPDATES
News for 4/3/2007
Berry returns home to Cleveland area
VALLEY VIEW, Ohio (AP) — Even in the rain, Halle Berry draws a crowd when she returns home to the Cleveland area. About 800 people waited in drizzle Thursday night in this Ohio suburb to catch a glimpse of the Oscar-winning actress before a screening of her new film, "Perfect Stranger."
Onlookers snapped photos with cameras and cell phones as Berry made her way from a sport utility vehicle to the movie theater. She signed autographs, talked to fans and conducted interviews with local media.
"I'm so happy to be home," she told the packed theater before the film started.
"I swear this is true. No matter how many countries I've been to, no matter how many warm receptions I've gotten, my heart was beating when I pulled up. Nothing feels better. The voices all sound familiar in some weird way. I'm of here. I'm from here. And I'm one of you."
Berry, 40, grew up in the Cleveland area and graduated from high school in suburban Bedford in 1984. She won the best-actress Oscar in 2002 for "Monster's Ball."
Guests at the screening included Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson — who called Berry "homegrown and beautiful" when he introduced her — and Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards.
"I'm a big fan of Halle Berry's," Edwards said. "I think every man in America is."
"Perfect Stranger," which also stars Bruce Willis and Giovanni Ribisi, opens in theaters April 13.
News for 3/13/2007
Halle Berry to Play Jewel Thief?
Moviehole is reporting that Halle Berry ("X-Men" films) will star in Who is Doris Payne, the true story of a woman who spent 75 years, at large, robbing precious stones.
Eunetta T.Boone, a seasoned TV writer who has written everything from episodes of "The Hugleys" to "Roc," is the writer. Justin Berfield ("Malcolm in the Middle") is one of the producers.
Knicknamed the "Grandmother Thief", Doris Marie Payne's traits were well known to the police who were amazed at how easily she could distract shop assistants and simply walk away with her loot.
News for 3/6/2007
Berry's 'Tulia' Eyes 'High Crimes' Director
Project will shoot in Louisiana
Halle Berry's latest project has been resurrected.
The long-gesting project "Tulia," in which Berry stars as a lawyer, is currently negotiating with "High Crimes" helmer Carl Franklin to direct.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Berry will play the lead attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational fund who investigates an infamous drug bust in which 46 black men in Tulia, Texas were arrested under suspcious conditions in 1999. Based on the testimony of a crooked cop, the men were all taken in a sting even though no money, drugs or illegal weapons were found on any of the suspects.
Production is scheduled to begin May 1 in Louisiana. The project is based on Karen Croner's adaptation of the Nate Blakeslee book "Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town."
Franklin's other films include "Devil in a Blue Dress," "One True Thing" and "Out of Time."
Berry, who last appeared in "X-Men: The Last Stand," next stars opposite Bruce Willis in the thriller "Perfect Stranger," scheduled for release in April. Her other upcoming projects include "Things We Lost in the Fire" and "Class Act."
News for 12/24/2006
The following article appeared in the July/August 2006 issue of Aspire Magazine
News for 12/23/2006
The following article appeared in the September 25, 2006 issue of People Magazine
News for 10/8/2006
Halle Berry Is a 'Class Act'
Doug Atchison will direct for DreamWorks
DreamWorks has recruited Halle Berry to star in "Class Act," a somewhat-fact-based drama from "Akeelah and the Bee" director Doug Atchison.
The project tells the story of Tierney Cahill, a Reno sixth-grade teacher who accepted her class' challenge to run for Congress in 2000. We hate to spoil the end of the movie, but Cahill lost to the local incumbent, but still received 35 percent of the vote, which is inspirational.
What's particularly inspirational for Variety, though, is the fact that in real life, Cahill is white. Variety is shocked and eager to point out that Oscar winner Berry is not white.
Revolution Studios original had the project on its docket, but the film went into turnaround, allowing DreamWorks to snag it. The studio isn't expected to have "Class Act" in production by early next summer.
Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas will produce. Goldsmith-Thomas also produced Berry's upcoming "Perfect Strangers," which should be ready for release next May.
Berry is current shooting "Things We Lost In the Fire," also at DreamWorks. She was most recently seen in this summer's blockbuster "X-Men: The Last Stand."
News for 8/20/2006
The following article appeared in the May 8, 2006 issue of People Magazine
News for 7/9/2006
The following article appeared in the June 2006 issue of Glamour Magazine
The following article appeared in the February/March 2006 issue of Today's Black Woman Magazine
News for 6/8/2006
Halle reveals racism struggle
With an Oscar in the bag, it is hard to imagine Halle Berry would have to fight too hard for acting roles.
But the Hollywood A-lister says she has to audition for parts like every other actor.
"I have to fight for almost every job I ever get ... the ones that I really want to do," said Berry in Cannes, promoting her latest film, X-Men: The Last Stand.
"I am not complaining but there is a little thing called racism that this movie X-Men speaks about that, honestly, people like me still suffer from on some level.
Berry explained that if she were to audition for the role of a middle-class, middle-aged mother, producers may assume her husband would also have to be African American.
Her children would also have to be black, which she said some producers would fear may change the dynamics of the story.
"I am not implying that Hollywood is racist, but racism is so subtle that people sometimes won't even realise," she said.
"I still face that; I still struggle with that in Hollywood today."
Berry was in the French Riviera this week for the Cannes International Film Festival, with the third X-Men instalment screening out of competition.
Her character, Storm, again joins forces with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), and Rogue (Anna Paquin).
The film, based on the classic Marvel comic series, sees the super-heroes going up against the government and bad-guy Magneto (Ian McKellen) over the introduction of a "cure" for those with special powers, or mutants as they are referred to in the movie.
"As a woman first, and of colour, too, I have been discriminated against for both; I feel very attached to this material," said Berry.
"What would happen if our government in America tried to impose an antidote to change black people to white? That would be horrible, and I would be afraid of what that would mean for all mankind.
Berry said she felt extremely passionate about the films message.
"I struggled to fit in my whole life, to find acceptance, and it was only as I got into my late 30s that I finally started to realise, who cares?
"I don't have to try to be accepted. I have to try to get people to have more tolerance and accept me as I am. I am not the one that needs to change."
The X-Men comics have an extremely strong fan base around the world.
While critics at Cannes this year have given the movie lukewarm reviews, Berry says the fans were the harshest of critics and, ultimately, the most important.
Signing on for the third film, Berry said it was important that her character explored more of her powers and participate in more of the action.
"I took such a beating from the fans after the second movie," she said.
"Comic-book fans are really brutal and they were really unhappy with the way Storm did not evolve in the second movie.
"They wrote me letters, they blew up my website. I was devastated, so much so that I really contemplated whether I would go back or not."
Storm can manipulate the weather, she's hyper-kinetic and, in the latest instalment, she is able to fly.
"This time, I felt like Storm was part of the movie in an integral way and she used all of her powers, every single one that she had," she said.
"As an actor, it was really rewarding. And to reprise a character, it's nice to have some kind of evolution."
Berry began her entertainment career after coming first runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant in 1986, scoring a number of modelling jobs.
She made her big screen debut with Spike Lee's Jungle Fever in 1991.
Since then, she has starred in many films, including Losing Isaiah, The Last Boy Scout, Die Another Day, Swordfish and Robots.
Berry won an Academy Award in 2002 for the Marc Forster-directed Monster's Ball and is one of Hollywood's top women earners.
The actor is currently filming Perfect Stranger with Bruce Willis and is slated to star with Benicio Del Toro in Danish director Susanne Bier's Things We Lost in the Fire.
Despite her successes, Berry has had her share of flops.
Action flick Catwoman earned her a Razzie Award in 2004, a spoof of the Oscars that trashes Hollywoods worst.
"Let it be said, I had a wonderful experience on Catwoman," she said.
"As an actor, hopefully your career is long and sometimes you birth babies, as every film feels like, when you present it to the world, and some perform well and some don't."
"It is great to just mix it up for me and do all different kinds of genres and play different characters."
Berry turns 40 in August, a milestone she admits to feeling slightly nervous about, although a grey wig in X-Men helped her get used to ageing.
"At first it was daunting (having grey hair)," she said.
"I am still in my 30s - barely - and you don't want to have grey hair in your 30s.
"But I got used to it and it made me feel more like a mutant, like I fitted in more, and I really liked it. I am not so afraid of ageing now because of it."
In fact, Berry says she's never felt better in her life.
"I have never been in better physical shape and emotional shape, and I am really happy in my personal life - what a novel idea."
Berry, who has been married twice, is also enjoying new love, dating 30-year-old French-Canadian model Gabriel Aubry.
"I do have someone in my life who is apparently putting a sparkle in my eye and he is 10 years younger," she said, not wanting to give too much away.
"I am not the girl who has had the best relationships so I am a little not wanting to really talk about it - my history will tell you why."
Halle Berry Interview@Dark Horizons
News for 5/29/2006
Oscar Winner Says Spotlight's Glare Can Make Her Feel Like a Mutant
By Hank Stuever
Washington Post Staff Writer
Celebrities -- they're the real mutants, right? Earning those superhuman salaries. All those henchmen and T-Mobile Sidekicks. No reservations necessary, ever. Perfect little bodies. Neato vehicles. Transfixing us with their eyes and sparkly handbags and then distracting us with their divorces, while slipping 10 bucks out of our pockets every blockbusting weekend for another bad movie. Citizens, something must be done! We must rise up and take a stand!
"You know, that's interesting," Halle Berry says, thinking it over, the celebrity species as a metaphor for those perpetually powerful yet ultimately flawed other kind of humans. "It's a little bit like that, yes."
We are 50 floors above Central Park on a recent afternoon, and wouldn't it be great if this serene, impossibly gorgeous actress jumped up, kicked out the window, leapt out into the sky and landed like a lightning bolt in Columbus Circle? She's dressed for it: dark curls spilling down her shoulders, over a black, very low-cut hand-knit sweater, with tight indigo jeans and shiny, silver stiletto boots. Sorta like Ororo Munroe (code name: Storm), the mutant she plays yet again in "X-Men: The Last Stand," which opened yesterday. Or like Catwoman. (We are allowed to say the word "Catwoman" in this interview, right? Without, like, a $1,200 manicure suddenly raked across our cheek?)
An assistant knocks on the door: "Excuse me, Halle, did you want hair and makeup to come check you out right now?"
"Nmmh-mnnh," Berry, 39, gently answers in the negative, but the implication hangs in the room: What foolish mortal is this who wants to know if Halle Berry needs more makeup?
Yet for all their skills, mutant celebs have weaknesses, too.
That's the ongoing "X-Men" subtext in Marvel Comics and the movie versions -- what seems like a good superpower to wield nevertheless brings a measure of personal misery. What better way to describe being a star? "You do feel somewhat mutantlike, I think," she says, "because you've chosen this profession, you're not allowed a basic sense of privacy . . . of personal space."
You could easily defeat Halle Berry: Simply have her ride the elevator down and turn her loose, all alone, with no phone, no cash. Almost immediately, Berry guesses, she would be surrounded. People would want pictures or autographs. Gawker Stalker would post her GPS coordinates online. She wouldn't make it two blocks.
She laughs. "Now, if I had a hat and sunglasses and a pair of old jeans, I might get to SoHo. If I walked out looking like this, I wouldn't. But I would love nothing more than to have it out in the world. I love people. But that's the bad that comes with good, it's true. Sometimes you wish that didn't come with it."
For example, Berry thinks nobody spotted her the previous week on St. Marks Place in the East Village, inspecting a new restaurant/nightclub about to be opened by her current boyfriend -- hottie model Gabriel Aubry, 30 -- and other investors. Her eyes bug out when we bring it up. (Which reminds us, if you see Halle Berry on a street, anywhere or anytime, feel free to quote that cracked-out Whitney Houston skit from "Mad TV" years ago: " I see you, Halle Berry!!")
Red carpets both enthrall and unnerve her, depending on her mood. She says she has no movie star friends, although she "lights up like a tree" whenever she bumps into Renee Zellweger on a red carpet. "Or like Denzel Washington. Jamie Foxx. There's just certain people. Oprah. I love seeing them in this fake world that we exist in."
The people she counts as her closest friends are often people she knew from high school, growing up in Cleveland, where she won beauty pageants and was the school newspaper's fashion critic. She stays in a lot.
"To just have eye boogers and messed-up hair," she says, even as we do not believe this ever happens to her. "To flatulate and know that it's all okay. That's when I feel, I don't know -- I'm a homebody, and it's really free and good."
Yes, we have seen you, Halle Berry. We have seen almost every beautiful square inch of you, in 2001's "Monster's Ball," the morose yet steamy Southern death-penalty drama that won her an Oscar. She says (all the time, and twice in this interview) that the world will never see her naked again.
Since then we've seen her in lots of leather. We've seen her in some real $10.99-on-the-Hampton-Inn-pay-per-view stinkers: The aforementioned "Catwoman" in 2004. The sorta-scary asylum thriller "Gothika" in 2003. Neither of these is as bad as you've been led to believe. ("Oh, we have it," a clerk at Melody Record Shop in Dupont Circle says, wickedly, when we moan that we can't find a copy of "Catwoman" in the DVD sale bins. And, lo -- and whoa -- there it is.)
People are now embracing Berry's missteps since "Monster's Ball" for the vintage trash that got made. There's sympathy at play here, too -- you try finding good leading-lady parts after an Oscar, when your asking price is 14 mil, and just to make it this much harder, let's say you also happen to be black. Carry that burden around. See if any of Jennifer Aniston's discarded romantic comedy scripts waft down your way. They do not. Superheroes and psycho thrillers, however . . .
Sharon Stone only makes "Catwoman" wonderfully worse. Rare is the actor who will show up to accept her own Razzie award for Worst Actress, which Berry did in 2005, clutching her Oscar in the other hand, swearing good-humoredly that the Razzie would never happen to her again.
"I worked really, really hard on ['Catwoman']," Berry says. "I got in the best shape of my life. I proved a lot of things to myself. I met Benjamin Bratt, who was an amazing man, and that was when I was in my 'I hate men' mode." (She was on her way to divorcing her second husband, R&B singer Eric Benet. Then came a short relationship with actor Michael Ealy.) "And Benjamin single-handedly restored my faith, and I thought, oh, I will date again someday. I was ready to ban men for life."
Berry is confident about her next two choices -- she's wrapped "Perfect Strangers," an online-dating-gone-wrong thriller with Bruce Willis (we're going to say: uh-oh), and "Things We Lost in the Fire," a drama opposite Benicio del Toro.
For the time being, she is doing her duty to the "X-Men" franchise as Storm, the mutant heroine in an Andy Warhol wig who uses the weather (she can make fog, rain, lightning -- in this one she even becomes a tornado).
"Have you seen it?" she asks. "I haven't seen it yet. I really haven't. Tell me what you thought. Be honest."
Uhh, yeah, okay:
"X3," in fanboyspeak, is very big and loud. This time, a pharmaceutical company has figured out a way to vaccinate mutants and make them normal. There are about 20 enormous metaphors for discrimination and civil rights packed into it. It's still about what it's like being the weird kid, with loaded references to the culture wars, as when a handsome young man with angel wings escapes his father's insistence that he be vaccinated by jumping out the window and soaring over San Francisco.
It has Kelsey Grammer as the Beast, covered in blue makeup and blue fur. ("I love what you've done with your hair," he and Berry coo to each other in the film. "He is so sexy in this movie," she remarks, inexplicably. "He reminds me of Frederick Douglass!") Things explode. Lots of security guards are killed, as usual. Ian McKellen, as Magneto, moves the Golden Gate Bridge over to Alcatraz, for no real reason. More things explode. Which is to say, you know, it's an "X-Men" movie.
She almost didn't do it. "All I ever wanted was for Storm to have a point of view," Berry says. "She's a strong woman and a strong character -- very opinionated while being the earth mother of the group. A woman who is from Africa, who has strong feelings about being in this country and being not only discriminated against but dealing with her mutation, which was revered in her country, but looked down upon in this one. All I wanted was for her to have a voice."
Berry insisted that the script give Storm more to do in "X3" -- even though the ensemble has grown to more than a dozen characters -- or she would pass. "In the second movie, I didn't know what the heck I was doing in it," she says. "I had no idea, other than, 'Storm, go get the plane,' and I would run and go get the plane."
Being in an "X-Men" movie takes six months, most of which is spent waiting for explosives to be wired up. So she sat in her trailer a lot and surfed the Web. AOL is her home page. She goes to music sites. She looks at medical sites, especially to see if there's anything new about diabetes, with which she was diagnosed years ago.
There is also her own Web site, Hallewood
"Don't go to it!" she implores. "Don't go. It's not good right now. I need to update it. I have been really bad about that lately."
She was one of the first movie stars in the 1990s to start her own site, and went there frequently to put her own spin on the gossip of her life: Husbands came and went. Pieces of sets crashed on her during stunt shoots, or shards of glass flew into her eyes. She ran away from a car accident, owned up to it in court and wound up losing her driver's license for many months. These were little blips of Crazy Halle, circa 2000. We printed out the highlights and the lowlights from the gossip columns and have them right here in a folder. (She politely declines a line-by-line review.)
"Back then, I cared a lot. [The Web site] was a clear, unobstructed way for me to talk to my fans and for them to hear exactly what I wanted to say in my voice. Early on I got to clear up rumors that really bugged me," she says.
"But I'm not that kind of girl. I've evolved into a woman who doesn't care anymore."
She says she runs her race looking only forward. She stays positive only. She gives us one of those movie-star lectures about how to avoid "the negativity."
We tell her we run our race looking sideways. We like bitterness, spite. We're like the evil mutants who type. We suck energy.
"Now I'm going to give you some advice," she says. "If you get too invested in doing that, then your eyes are off your own race. And my plate is so full, my road is sometimes so rocky, that I don't have time to look around. I have to stay focused."
So she stopped playing the rumor game. She let the fans take over Hallewood, which they did, forming their own social network (they call themselves "the Groovers") and chatting endlessly about Halle Berry, the inspiration. No gossip is allowed. Once in awhile, their idol weighs in, or hosts a live chat:
"Halle," one of them typed during her last chat, in March 2005: "What did you have for breakfast today? LOL"
halle90025: Not a doggone thing . . . but a cup of coffee. and I'll tell you why . . . this may be TMI . . . I ate some Bar-B-Q the other day and got really sick. The meat was bad or something. Well, I scarfed the ribs down just to have them come back up about an hour later . . . Sorry about that . . . I know it's more than you wanted to know :)
There can never be more than we wanted to know. (Lady, you are Halle Berry, all right?) Leaving her, descending back to Earth, the photographer worries if the photos will show too much cleavage. Like there even is such a thing.
The perfect Storm
Halle Berry takes a stand for 'X-Men,' true love and getting what she wants
BY JOHN CLARK
This August, Halle Berry is going to hit the big 4-0, but you'd never know it from the way the Oscar-winning actress looks or the way she feels - especially about her work. Times have changed, she says.
"Ten years ago, that [age] would have meant your career is over," says Berry, whose sweetly modest manner is often combined with a plunging neckline - sending out mesmerizingly mixed signals. "But I don't feel like my career is waning one bit. It's all a state of mind.
"And when I won't be able to play whatever that is," she continues, referring, perhaps, to sexy superheroes, "then I'm comfortable playing age-appropriate roles. I just love acting, so I have no problem when the day comes to play the grandma or the mother of 10!"
Berry's male fans don't have to worry about that just yet. For "X-Men: The Last Stand," opening Friday, Berry slips back into her black leather outfit and punky blond hairstyle to play Storm, a mutant who can control the weather. This time, she and her fellow mutants, including Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Cyclops (James Marsden), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), and a new character, Beast (Kelsey Grammer), confront a drug that will "cure" them of their mutancy.
The question, of course, is whether they want to be cured, or if they should be cured, especially when they can do things like throw fireballs or run through walls.
Complicating this dilemma - as in the first two "X-Men" films, from 2000 and 2003 - is the evil Magneto (Ian McKellen), who wants to destroy the cure and all who get in his way. On his side are Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), Pyro (Aaron Stanford), and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who in "X2" died and is here resurrected as Dark Phoenix, a bad-tempered, all-powerful telepath.
Because it's a "last stand," not all the mutants survive, and those who do are changed, some more than others.
It was because of these plot twists that Berry decided to make the film - that and the fact that, unlike the previous movies, she does more than just fly a plane and look worried.
"I had to make a tough choice," Berry says, referring to a competing project that she wanted to film at the same time as this new "X-Men" adventure. "I had a real sense of obligation to these movies, and I didn't feel right in my soul about walking away before I finished it. But I read the script and realized it would be okay, because I had more to do this time."
Money was probably an incentive, too: She and the other principal "X" actors renegotiated their deals for this movie, and Berry - whose beauty also represents Revlon and Versace - is not shy about defending her right to make a buck.
"'X-Men' pays the bills!" she says, laughing. "'X-Men' is my retirement fund! You'd be stupid not consider that and take the opportunities that come your way. But it's also important...to mix in other work as well, those great movies that don't offer much in the way of a paycheck."
Very few actors, let alone actresses - and especially actresses of color - do this mixing as well as Berry does. But she's been an overachiever all her life: As a high schooler in Ohio, she was a cheerleader, an honor-society member, editor of the school paper, class president and the prom queen. Later, she was a beauty queen, winning the Miss Ohio title, earning a runnerup spot at the Miss USA pageant, and entering the Miss World contest.
Turning to acting, she made her mark playing a junkie ("Jungle Fever"), a black icon ("Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," which won her an Emmy and a Golden Globe), a devastated widow ("Monster's Ball"), and a Bond girl ("Die Another Day"). But instead of running away from her sexual assets after winning the Oscar for Best Actress for 2001's "Monster's Ball," Berry has embraced them.
And that tactic has worked - she's seemingly bulletproof, surviving box-office bombs like "Catwoman" and "Gothika." She doesn't mind giving the audience what it wants, but she does it on her terms.
"I'm not pigeonholed to any one part," she says. "I'm all over the place, from dramas to action movies. I'll always get the sexy parts; playing someone who is in touch with her sexuality is a wonderful thing. [But] would I play a sexy part just to play a sexy part? Probably not. It wouldn't interest me.
"As I'm growing as an actress, I want to do different things and challenge myself in different ways."
She cites as an example "a really sexy movie" she recently did with Bruce Willis called "Perfect Strangers," in which the sex is conducted over the Internet. She's also producing more realistic dramas through her company, Bella Films. (One of them will star Alicia Keys as a piano prodigy, while another will feature Berry as a schoolteacher who runs for Congress.) And she's signed up to star opposite Benicio Del Toro in "Things We Lost in the Fire," as a woman who loses her husband and befriends his drug-addled best friend.
"I've managed to [find] a way out of 'no way,' as a woman of color producing projects I really care about," she says. "That's become normal for me. If it's not out there, then I try to create it for myself....That's where I get the charge, making things like that happen."
As gratifying as all of this is, Berry is reaching an age where such successes don't mean as much as they used to. She is eager to start a family, and has said she would consider adopting. She's been married twice, to baseball player David Justice and musician Eric Benet. Both those unions ended in divorce.
"Certainly, as I'm approaching 40, I'm looking for a better reason to get up in the morning than to go make a movie," she says without a trace of self-pity. "I need that - I needed it at 30, and for a decade I've dealt with not having it, but I convinced myself that it was okay. But at 40, I need that deeper meaning to my life."
It would be easy for Berry to blame the business she's in - filled with travel and temptations and celebrity - for what happened to her marriages. But she doesn't. "It takes two people willing to do the work, that's what I've learned. And I haven't found that combo yet.
"But I know it's coming," she continues. "I'm putting out those vibes really strong right now, so I know it's manifesting and it's going to come to me very soon. I can feel it."
In The Future with Halle and Hugh
Source: Edward Douglas
When people go to see the latest (and presumably final) installment of Marvel's mutant franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand, they won't be able to avoid Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, who take front and center amidst an expanding cast of new mutants. Both actors have had pretty significant careers since the first X-Men in 2000, and they continue to be busy with movies they've just finished which come out in the next few months.
In the last two years, Jackman has been working with many reputable directors from Darren Aronofsky to Christopher Nolan and even Woody Allen. The Australian actor told ComingSoon.net about the character he plays in Woody Allen's upcoming romantic comedy Scoop, due out in July. "I play a modern day aristocrat who they have an anonymous tip on is a serial killer. I'm very much a Hello magazine bachelor-slash-aspiring politician, so I'm the opposite of a serial killer."
"Woody is incredibly personable, fun and easy to work with; he's very relaxed," Jackman said when asked for his Woody Allen anecdote. "We were in this stately house and he'd set up a shot in 10 minutes with 15 minutes to light it. After those 10 minutes you'd hear this noise and think, 'Where's that music coming from?' and he'd be out there playing his clarinet. He'd set up the shop, play his clarinet and then he'd come back and we'd shoot."
Even though Jackman shot Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain over a year ago, he still hasn't seen the finished movie yet. "[Darren] doesn't want me to see it without an audience, yet he had a screening the other night and he said, 'I don't want you to change the atmosphere.' So Darren is very protective but an extraordinary director."
It will probably come out around the same time as The Prestige, directed by Batman Begins' Christopher Nolan, which is based on the novel by Christopher Priest. "I think it's a very complete movie, but it's style is much smaller and more Mementoish than X-men or Batman," Jackman revealed when asked about similarities with his comic-based movies.
Jackman's plans aren't all cinematic, as he will be spending the summer reviving his hit Broadway musical "The Boy From Oz" in his native land. "I'm doing an arena version of that with a cast of 160. We'll be doing it in an arena for 10,000 people, so I'm gonna have my rock star season." He would like to come back to Broadway and host the Tonys again, too, but he hasn't found the right project, and this year's Tony Awards ceremony coincides with his father's 70th birthday back in Australia.
Halle Berry has just spent the last four months in New York shooting Perfect Stranger with Bruce Willis, and this summer, the actress will make a movie with Benicio Del Toro called Things We Lost in the Fire. "I play the wife of a man that gets killed and I'm left with two little children, and [Benicio] is my husband's best friend that's a junkie," she told us.
"I'm learning that I'm getting a lot of joy out of producing for others," she said when asked about other projects. "Vincent Cirrincione, my partner and I are producing a movie for Alicia Keys where she gets to act, and I just get to produce. It's called 'Composition in Black and White' and it's the true life story of Philippa Schuyler, who was a child prodigy pianist back in the 1940s. She was half-black half-white, and it's about her struggle with her amazing gift, with her culture and her heritage, and how she fit in at that time. It's similar to the struggle of Dorothy Dandringe in some ways, but it's a really touching and poignant story of an amazingly brilliant young woman."
When asked why she didn't want to play that part herself, Halle admitted, "She plays [piano] better than I do. I think what's going to make it great is because it's Alicia, so what you'll be seeing is real. Initially, when I bought it ten years ago, I did buy it for me to play. As I've grown and evolved, it's just as important for me to create opportunities for other women and other women of color, as it is for myself. Last year, when we did 'Lackawanna Blues' and S. Epatha Merkerson won all those awards, I couldn't be happier. Even though I was up against her for some of those awards, nobody could have been more happier for her than me, because I was part of that and I knew that I helped her to have that moment and live a dreamlike year that I also had before. It's not about me doing things for me. I'm getting a lot of joy in doing things for others."
"There are three to four other projects that I'm also producing for myself because I'm learning that if I want what I think are the great parts for me to play, then I have to make them happen," she continued. "Like anything, it takes time. Realistically, it takes like three to four years to get projects off the ground, to get the funding and to get a good script. Getting a good script can take 12-15 rewrites and each time a writer writes it takes 3 to 5 months to write it, so it doesn't happen like people think it does."
"I've been asked to play Coretta Scott King and many, many great women," she said, when asked about her dream project or the character she would love to play someday, "At some point in my life--not now, but maybe 5 years from now--I really would love to play Angela Davis. She's the only other woman that I think I would be able to sink my teeth into. So far, I've been placing seeds about wanting to do this and the reaction I'm getting is that she wasn't a sympathetic character and that I would never be able to make that. You can understand anybody when you understand why one does whatever it is they do; good or bad, whether you agree or not. There is so much that can be told about her life. I can make her sympathetic. Just give me a chance."
You can see Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry in X-Men: The Last Stand next Friday, May 26. Check back for full interviews with both of them next week.
Halle Berry Clashes With Disc Jockey
What was meant to be a friendly chat to promote the new "X-Men" movie turned into a frosty discussion about race on a popular morning radio program, but the British Broadcasting Corp. defended its disc jockey.
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry appeared on Chris Moyles' Radio One breakfast show Thursday and clashed with her host after he impersonated what he described as a "big, fat, black guy."
"Are we having a racist moment here?" Berry, the first black actress to win an Academy Award for a lead role, asked Moyles after she took exception to his impersonation. Moyles, who is white, said he just couldn't do American accents.
Moyles made it clear on air that there was nothing racist in what he said, a BBC spokesman said Friday on condition of anonymity, in line with the corporation's policy.
The exchange began when Hugh Jackman, Berry's "X-Men: The Last Stand" co-star, jokingly suggested that Moyles might take the role of his body double if he ever landed the part of James Bond.
"I could definitely do that," Moyles said before adding, "Put your hands in the air!"
A somewhat puzzled Jackman replied, "Are you some kind of Brooklyn Bond?"
Moyles replied: "I'm a black American guy. A big, fat, black guy. Put your hands up in the air."
The interview continued, though the DJ later said Berry was "ratty" — British slang for grouchy.
Berry won an Oscar in 2002 for her role in "Monster's Ball."