It was a rocky road for Halle Berry en route to becoming the first black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress.
Berry, 50, told People how living in a New York City homeless shelter helped her become the history-making actress she is today. The “Monster’s Ball” star arrived in NYC with a bit of money, but it didn’t get her far. “I mean, three months later, I was out of my cash,” Berry recalled.
“I called my mother and asked her to send me some money, and she said no, and that subsequently led to a year of not speaking to her because I was so upset that she wouldn’t help me.”
That phone call soured Berry’s relationship with her mother for some time, but these days the actress is thankful for the stern parenting: “That’s probably one of the best things she did for me… She said, ‘If you want to be there, then you work it out.’ And I had to work it out.”
“Giving up was never an option,” she exclaimed. Her situation fuelled her to superstardom. “It was to prove to [my mom] and everybody else,” Berry explained. “It took me right back to my high school years. ‘You say I can’t, watch me. I’m going to figure this out.’ And shelter life was part of figuring it out for a minute until I could get a waitressing job.”
“Then I got a bartending job, and until I could figure that out, that’s what I did.”
Berry’s new film “Kidnap” is in theatres now.