Halle Berry on her barrier-breaking Oscar win: ‘Maybe it wasn’t bigger than me’

Having only white actors nominated in the top categories at the Academy Awards for the last two years has Halle Berry — the only woman of color who’s won a lead Oscar — questioning the significance of the moment in 2002 when she broke that racial barrier.

“That win, almost 15 years ago, was iconic. It was important to me, but I had the knowing in the moment that it was bigger than me,” she said in a sit-down Thursday with one of her agents, Creative Artists Agency honcho Kevin Huvane.

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“I believed that in that moment, when I said ‘The door tonight has been opened,’ I believed that, with every bone in my body, that this was going to incite change, because this door, this barrier, had been broken,” the 49-year-old “Extant” star said.


The best actress for “Monster’s Ball” was talking with Huvane (who also represents the likes of Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, among many others) at the female-focused 2016 Makers Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, where their 20-minute chat was more about women in Hollywood than racial diversity.

Still, Berry said, “to sit here almost 15 years later and knowing that another woman of color has not walked through that door is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking, because I thought that moment was bigger than me. And it’s heartbreaking to start to think, ‘Maybe it wasn’t bigger than me.’ Maybe it wasn’t. And I so desperately felt like it was.”

You can watch the whole session here, on the Makers site.

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