“It did not open the door.”
We all know Halle Berry. She’s an actor, trailblazer, and broadly beloved Hollywood figure who’s easily one of the most prominent celebrities of our time.
That’s been true for a while now. Known for dozens of films and TV shows spanning genres and decades, Halle’s career began more than 30 years ago with roles in popular comedies like Boomerang spirit The Flintstones.
In 2002, Halle’s critically acclaimed performance in the drama Monster’s Ball earned her an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
The achievement was exciting for a whole host of reasons – not only was it Halle’s first Oscar, but her win marked the first time a Black woman took home the accolade for Best Actress at the Academy Awards.
It also has not happened since. With the 20-year anniversary of her Oscar triumph coming up this weekend, Halle reflected on the historic moment in a new interview with the New York Times.
“I do not have any memory of it,” she said, recalling her famous acceptance speech at the 2002 ceremony. “I do not even know how I got up there. It was totally a blackout moment.”
“All I remember is Russell Crowe saying, ‘Breathe, mate,'” she said. “And then I had a golden statue in my hand, and I just started talking.”
The Moonfall star also noted that, while Best Actress nominations have gone to Black women since the early 2000s, her win still stands alone. “It did not open the door,” she said. “The fact that there’s no one standing next to me is heartbreaking.”
You can check out Halle’s full New York Times interview here.