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Happy B-day Halle Berry. Watch Her Talk Colorism In Casting In '93 Arsenio Hall Show Appearance

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by Tambay A. Obenson
August 14, 2013 1:54 PM
8 Comments
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It was 1993, and she was all of 26 years old, and was on the Arsenio Hall show to push Queen, the TV mini-series she starred in that year.

7 long years later, she made Monster's Ball (probably the one role she'll always be remembered for, given all the controversy that film drew); and then Oscar came calling, and she made history, becoming the first (and still the ONLY) black actress to win the Best Actress in a leading role Oscar.

In the 10-minute clip, she and Arsenio Hall cover a variety of things, including, something that's STILL very much a source of debate and analysis on sites like S&A, and across the black blogosphere - the colorism in casting issue. 

In reference to that subject, Halle recalls almost being fired from Strictly Business in 1991, because she was "too light," said the director (before Kevin Hooks took over the project), adding that he/she was "tired of seeing interracial actresses like Halle Berry being cast in roles over darker-skinned black women..."

But it's been a tough road for Ms Berry since winning that Oscar over a decade ago. Not that she's struggling by any means. But the promises that often come with winning an Oscar haven't quite materialized for her... yet.

Most recently, despite mostly negative reviews, her last theatrical release, the thriller, The Call, quietly grossed about $52 million. That may not seem like much, nor is that what you'd call a blockbuster figure, but keep in mind that this is a film that cost only $13 million

In Tyler Perry's Lionsgate world, where you'll find similar cost/gross ratios, that's considered a hit! 

And, by the way, the $52 million doesn't include international receipts either.

If Halle can stay in that "sweet spot" - low budget, quadruple box office - with the occasional blockbuster, I think she'll be just fine, and may find herself able to get more low budget films greenlit.

Up next for her, a comedy titled Mother, that was announced just last month, and is set to go into production early next year.

To be produced by Berry’s manager Vincent Cirrincione and Emilio Ferrari, with financing coming from Ferrari’s Entertainment 7 shingle, via FCM Capital PartnersMother tells the story of a bride who leaves her mobster fiancée at the altar and has to go on the run. She pretends to be the mother of a young man (hence the title), where she plans to hide out, to prevent capture. But, of course, things don't all go as planned, and her wild and crazy nature, threatens to expose her, and turn her plans upside-down.

Not only will Berry star as the bride, she will also co-produce the film.

No director is attached to the project yet. And no word on who else will join Halle in front of the camera.

Likely before that film debuts, catch her reprising her role as Storm in X-Men: Days of Future Past next year.

Happy 47th Birthday Halle Berry

Feel free to share your favorite Halle Berry performances in the comment section below.

First, here's her 1993 appearance on the Arsenio Hall show:

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8 Comments

  • hellifiknow | August 21, 2013 1:23 PMReply

    I loved "The Dorothy Dandridge Story" but also very underrated for her performance in "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" - nice vintage Halle...thanks...

  • Roberto | August 15, 2013 2:15 AMReply

    Things we Lost in the Fire was her best performance, followed by Monster's Ball and Frankie and Alice(never wide released but her performance was awesome,) also loved her in Cloud Atlas last year, and honorable mention goes to Boomerang!!!

  • sthn | August 14, 2013 6:42 PMReply

    You know what happens to a toad struck by lightening? The same thing that happens to everything else?

  • KikiDee | August 14, 2013 4:54 PMReply

    @Sergio, it's definitely not the best in her canon (Losing Isaiah) but RMW is what I'd call a guilty pleasure.

  • Malcolmite91 | August 14, 2013 4:51 PMReply

    Two things 1.) Halle's best cinematic performances on screen in my opinion would have to be Boomerang, Alex Haley's Queen which she should of have won an emmy for or at least nominated, Losing Isaiah which she should have been nominated for an Academy Award, Executive Decision gosh she was so sexy as the flight attendant still gives me dreams after watching her in that film, an little undeserves performance in the 1998 tv miniseries The Wedding, Bulworth, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, all the X-Men films, Monster's Ball even though she won the Oscar for playing a slut but good performance, Die Another Day, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and her latest film The Call. 2.) I cannot wait until Aresenio comes back to primetime this September. Will be anticipating to watch. I just hope he brings the same flavor as he did to his earlier breakout primetime talk show.

  • Afrostyling | August 15, 2013 10:49 AM

    How was her character a slut? Let me see, she slept with one man in the entire movie (with the exception of her criminal husband on death row). Is it because it was a white man? This woman lost her husband and her son and she is a slut because she sought comfort in the arms of a white man?

  • KikiDee | August 14, 2013 2:29 PMReply

    Loved her in "Rich Man's Wife" and as Jinx in "Die Another Day".

  • sergio | August 14, 2013 2:57 PM

    Loved her in "Rich Man's Wife"

    You can't be serious. Even Halle lovers know that films sucks big time

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