Halle Berry says it’s ‘heartbreaking’ that no black woman has won Best Actress since her historic Oscar win



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Halle Berry remains the only black woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress in the Academy's nearly 95-year history.  (Photo: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni)
Halle Berry remains the only black woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress in the Academy’s nearly 95-year history. (Photo: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni)

In 2002, Halle Berry won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Monster ball. Almost 20 years later, Berry remains the only black woman to have ever received the prestigious honor – an honor that overwhelms her.

“The grief I have is because I really thought tonight meant that very soon after, other women of color, black women, would be standing by my side. Now it’s been 20 years and no one has, and so every time Oscar time comes around I think a lot and think, ‘Well maybe this year, maybe this year’, the 54-year-old star told Mirror in an interview. “It became heartbreaking that no one else stood there.”

This isn’t the first time Berry has reflected on her expectations for Hollywood and the fact that no other black woman has followed her historic victory. In Variety Last fall, Berry shared, “I thought Cynthia [Erivo, the star of Harriet] was going to do it last year. I thought ruth [Negga, nominated for 2016’s Loving] had very good luck too. I thought there were women who rightly could have, should have. I was hoping they would have done it, but why it wasn’t, I don’t have the answer.

When Berry took the stage to accept her award in 2002, she told the audience, “This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women standing by my side, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And that’s for every unnamed, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door has been opened tonight.

Berry won for Monster's Ball in 2002. (Photo: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)
Berry won for Monster ball in 2002. (Photo: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

Berry herself is again aired in the Oscars Contention Conversation, this time for her role in Bruised, in which she both performed and directed. The role she plays, conceived as a 25 year old white Irishwoman, took a bit of refinement for Berry to land as she had to convince the producers that she was the right fit for this martial arts fighter comeback story. .

“I knew ‘as written’ that the role couldn’t be me. But what I liked was a classic fight movie, ”she says.

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