Berry has spoken several times in the past about how her expectations following the historic win were not met. She was the first Black woman to ever win an Oscar award in the Black actress category, which she won for her performance in the 2001 film “Monster’s Ball.”
The now-54-year-old has said that she thought there would be more and better roles presented to her because of the win, but quickly realized that was not the case. She also realized that she would have to take the roles given, even if they were ones she was not fond of, for financial stability.
Explaining her thoughts about booking undesired characters, she told Entertainment Weekly in a Tuesday interview, “It’s like, OK, that’s a film I can’t say I’m totally in love with, but this isn’t a hobby. It’s how I take care of my children.”
She continued, “But I try to keep that sense of wonder and stay curious. Because being a Black woman, I haven’t always had parts that I absolutely love.” She also doubled down on previously misconceived thoughts that her Oscar win would mean that she would get new opportunities piling up at her front door and how “surprising” it was that that did not happen.
The “Catwoman” actress said, “Because I thought they were going to just back up the truck and drop them off at my house, right? When you have a historic win like that, you think, ‘Oh, this is going to fundamentally change.’ It did fundamentally change me, but it didn’t change my place in the business overnight. I still had to go back to work. I still had to try to fight to make a way out of no way.”
Her win was historic, but the role was controversial in the eyes of many in the Black community. Many saw the win as a slap in the face to Black people because of events that happened between Berry’s character and her co-star, Billy Bob Thornton’s character. Leticia Musgrove (Berry) is an oppressed mother whose husband was sentenced to the electric chair. Musgrove starts a romantic and sexual relationship with Hank Grotowski (Thornton) who, unbeknownst to Musgrove, is the prison guard who assisted her husband’s execution.
The issue many took with this was the idea that Berry won for a role where she sought comfort over her husband’s misfortunes with a white man.
Last year, she spoke about her explicit sexual scene with Thornton and confessed her team thought the scene might ruin her career, but she felt otherwise. She said, “It was a little movie, and it had this love scene that, I guess, was explicit in the minds of some people. And I was getting paid nothing. They thought if you’re going to do something like that, get a sh-t load of money. But that’s not why I’m doing it. I didn’t feel it was exploitative. It was necessary for the character.”
As for now, Berry is celebrating the upcoming release of her film “Bruised,” which she not only starred in but directed. The movie, which was initially released last year, will now be released globally on Netflix on Nov. 24.
Link to original Atlanta Black Star