Halle Berry brands her historic Oscar win ‘one of my biggest heartbreaks’

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Halle Berry has branded her historic Oscar win as ‘one of my biggest heartbreaks’ as she remains the only black actress to score the top accolade.

The actress, 54, scooped the Best Actress award in 2002 for her role as Leticia Musgrove in indie drama Monster’s Ball.

Halle has now discussed her ‘heartbreak’ over the fact she is still the only black woman to have won the top trophy in a new candid interview with Variety.

Speaking out: Halle Berry has branded her historic Oscar win as 'one of my biggest heartbreaks' as she remains the only black actress to score the top accolade (pictured in 2019)

Speaking out: Halle Berry has branded her historic Oscar win as ‘one of my biggest heartbreaks’ as she remains the only black actress to score the top accolade (pictured in 2019) 

The star admitted she thought she was chosen to ‘open a door’ and now questions whether it was even an ‘important moment’.

Halle explained how she had hoped Cynthia Erivo, 33, would have won for Harriet earlier this year, while she also felt Ruth Negga, 38, had a ‘really good shot at it’ for her lead performance in 2016’s Loving.     

She told the publication: ‘I thought there were women that rightfully, arguably, could have, should have. I hoped they would have, but why it hasn’t gone that way, I don’t have the answer.

‘It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks. The morning after, I thought, “Wow, I was chosen to open a door.” And then, to have no one… I question, “Was that an important moment, or was it just an important moment for me?” 

Making history: The actress, 54, scooped the Best Actress award in 2002 for her role as Leticia Musgrove in indie drama Monster's Ball (pictured)

Making history: The actress, 54, scooped the Best Actress award in 2002 for her role as Leticia Musgrove in indie drama Monster’s Ball (pictured) 

Oscar-winning role: Halle pictured in film still from Monster's Ball with co-star Billy Bob Thornton in 2001

Oscar-winning role: Halle pictured in film still from Monster’s Ball with co-star Billy Bob Thornton in 2001 

‘I wanted to believe it was so much bigger than me. It felt so much bigger than me, mainly because I knew others should have been there before me and they weren’t.’

Halle added that just because she won an Oscar it didn’t ‘magically’ mean there was a ‘place for me’ the next day.  

After her win, the star went on to get slaughtered by critics for appearing in the badly-received superhero film Catwoman in 2004. 

However, Berry defended her choice during the interview and said she wanted to open another door for black women to play superhero roles.

Heartache: Halle has now discussed her 'heartbreak' over the fact she is still the only black woman to have won the top trophy in a new candid interview with Variety (pictured in 2002)

Heartache: Halle has now discussed her ‘heartbreak’ over the fact she is still the only black woman to have won the top trophy in a new candid interview with Variety (pictured in 2002) 

Hopes: Halle explained how she had hoped Cynthia Erivo, 33, pictured, would have won for Harriet earlier this year

Hopes: While she also felt Ruth Negga, 38, had a 'really good shot at it' for her lead performance in 2016's Loving (pictured in 2017)

Hopes: Halle explained how she had hoped Cynthia Erivo, 33, would have won for Harriet earlier this year, while she also felt Ruth Negga, 38, had a ‘really good shot at it’ for her lead performance in 2016’s Loving (L-R)  

She also revealed that James Bond producers wanted to give her a spin-off movie for her role as Jinx after the success of Die Another Day, but movie studio bosses hesitated at stumping up the $80 million cash to fund it. 

Halle’s latest role sees her play disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice in the movie Bruised where she has also served as a director.  

The star’s interview comes after the Academy Awards announced that movies will have to meet new diversity and inclusion standards to be eligible to win in the Best Picture category from 2024.

The Oscars shake-up means films will have to hire more black, female, LGBT or disabled cast and crew or address themes that affect those communities. They will need to meet at least two of four new standards to qualify. 

'I thought I was chosen to open a door': The star admitted she thought she was chosen to 'open a door' and now questions whether it was even an 'important moment' (pictured in 2002)

‘I thought I was chosen to open a door’: The star admitted she thought she was chosen to ‘open a door’ and now questions whether it was even an ‘important moment’ (pictured in 2002) 

Academy chiefs say the rules are intended to ‘better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience’.

The Oscars has long come under fire for its lack of diversity with only one black actor receiving a nomination for the 2020 awards.

The initiatives will go into effect with films released in the year 2024, which will be recognised at the 96th Oscars in 2025.

Films vying for Best Picture in 2022 and 2023 will be required to fill out a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form, though meeting inclusion thresholds will not be required for Best Picture eligibility until 2024.  

Soon after: After her win, the star went on to get slaughtered by critics for appearing in the badly-received superhero film Catwoman in 2004 (pictured)

Soon after: After her win, the star went on to get slaughtered by critics for appearing in the badly-received superhero film Catwoman in 2004 (pictured) 

The guidelines were developed by Academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos, who lead a task force to develop the standards.

The standards were inspired by British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards, which determine funding for some films in the UK and eligibility in some categories of the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Awards. 

‘The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them,’ said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson in a statement. 

Another milestone: However, Berry defended her choice during the interview and said she wanted to open another door for black women to play superhero roles (pictured as Catwoman)

Another milestone: However, Berry defended her choice during the interview and said she wanted to open another door for black women to play superhero roles (pictured as Catwoman) 

‘The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,’ they continued.

‘We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,’ the statement concluded. 

The new requirements come after months of anti-racism protests in the US and years of pressure from activists who have called for a boycott of the glitzy event. 

Diversity: The star's interview comes after the Academy Awards announced that movies will have to meet new diversity and inclusion standards to be eligible to win in the Best Picture category from 2024

Diversity: The star’s interview comes after the Academy Awards announced that movies will have to meet new diversity and inclusion standards to be eligible to win in the Best Picture category from 2024 

Actress Kirstie Alley launched an angry Twitter rant after the news was announced, claiming they were akin to ‘telling Picasso what had to be in his f***ing paintings’.

Other critics accused ‘Woke Hollywood’ bosses of turning the Oscars into a ‘weapon against anyone who disagreed with their politics’.  

While others admired the sentiment behind the Academy’s move but disagreed with the method.  

 

Anger: Actress Kirstie Alley launched an angry Twitter rant after the news was announced, claiming they were akin to 'telling Picasso what had to be in his f***ing paintings'

Anger: Actress Kirstie Alley launched an angry Twitter rant after the news was announced, claiming they were akin to ‘telling Picasso what had to be in his f***ing paintings’  

Hollywood’s new diversity rules explained 

To be eligible for Best Picture, films must meet any TWO of the following FOUR criteria. 

1. ON-SCREEN REPRESENTATION

This standard can be met by fulfilling any ONE of these:

– Lead actor or significant supporting actor from an ethnic minority group

– At least 30 per cent of smaller roles are played by women, LGBT people, disabled people or ethnic minorities 

–  The main storyline is centered on an under-represented group

2. CREATIVE LEADERSHIP

This standard can be met by fulfilling any ONE of these: 

– At least two senior creative posts, such as casting director, make-up artist or producer, are from an under-represented group including women

– At least six smaller roles in the crew are filled by ethnic minorities

– At least 30 per cent of the film’s total crew is from an under-represented group 

3. INDUSTRY ACCESS

This standard can be met by fulfilling BOTH of these: 

– Studios and distributors must have paid interns or apprentices who are women or come from minority groups

– Training opportunities must be offered to under-represented groups in production, distribution and financing

4. AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT 

This standard can be met by fulfilling this ONE requirement:

– Multiple senior executives in publicity, marketing and distribution are women or minority groups 

Awards other than Best Picture will continue with their previous eligibility requirements. 

The rules will take effect from the 96th Academy Awards in 2025.  

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