Halle Berry talks about her latest thriller opposite Bruce Willis and Giovanni Ribisi
Halle Berry is just plain sexy - she can basically do anything and people will go see it. Well, that's certainly not the case with her new film, Perfect Stranger. This is a movie you should see - you'll be asking many questions about yourself when you walk out of the theater. She plays opposite Bruce Willis and Giovanni Ribisi in the thriller that ponders, How many secrets do you keep?
After her career as a New York reporter, she goes on the hunt for her next assignment - who killed her best friend. With her main suspect the top advertising giant in New York, Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), she has Giovanni hack her way in to his agency as a temp so she can get more clues. She ends up in a lot more trouble than she's looking after she finds out everyone is hiding information.
Check out what Halle had to say about getting the role, acting opposite Bruce and Giovanni, and her surging career:
You actually took journalism at school; did you want to do investigative work or did you want to do this hard core junket reporting that we do.
Halle Berry: I want to do this hard core stuff you guys do; unfortunately because I didn't study it long enough, I hadn't really decided that yet. So I really don't know, but I knew that I was a good writer in high school and won awards, and I was the editor of my school newspaper. So I knew that I was a good writer and I wanted to somehow capitalize and sort of utilize a talent that I thought I had. How it would have manifested, I don't really know.
Why were you so passionate about playing this role?
Halle Berry: Well, I love a character that gives me a chance to grow and do something different, and Row was so multifaceted, you know. I never played a character who played a character who played a character you know, and that gave me a chance as an artist to sort of stretch my limits and to challenge myself. When I read the movie and I got to the end, I thought, 'Wow, I don't know how I'm going to pull this off but if I can but I'm going to go down trying' because that's how impassioned I was about it.
You seemed to have a very good report with director, James Foley; what was that like on set?
Halle Berry: You ask any actor that he has worked with and they all have loved him, they had to have; he is an actor's director. He is one of these unique directors that actually has the vocabulary to speak to actors and that's a different language really because actors sometimes, you know, have to hear words from an organic place, not an intellectual places because sometimes, the choices we make as actors aren't based in anything cerebral. They're just human emotions that are unexplainable sometimes and James Foley knows how to speak to us in those terms and he supports us. I remember on the first day of shooting, everybody's a little tense; as actors, we're all very insecure and we just want the director to like what we've been working on the night before for the first day. So I'm with Giovanni and we're in that scene at the restaurant and we do the first take. After the first take, everyone of us is looking like, 'Ok, was that ok? How was that?' And all we hear from another room, because he's in another room watching the monitor, we hear 'Ahhhhhhhhh, yes!' We're like, 'What the hell was that?' And it's James Foley and he was back and he's like 'ahhhhhh' - that was the tone that he set and when we did something that he loved, we got that and when we didn't, of course he didn't but when we can get that from him and we all felt like okay.
He said that you were 100% comfortable with your beauty.
Halle Berry: I think that's also come with 40, and just getting older; I've become really comfortable with my sexuality and making no excuses for it anymore. It's part of being a woman, it's part of what empowers us when we're smart enough to know how to use it. The character of Row certainly knew how to use it, and I think I've been learning as I've gotten older. I've become comfortable with that side of who I am. In the beginning, I used to have to downplay it because I wanted to be taken so seriously as a thespian and as an artist and as an actor, so I'd play crack heads and down trotting women and disguise myself, and I think as I've gotten older, I become more comfortable with who I really am and all parts of me knowing that my physical self doesn't diminish me in any way or my talent.
What was the chemistry like with Bruce?
Halle Berry: Well, it's hard not to have chemistry with Bruce because he's a ladies man but he's also a man's man. He represents that good 'ole macho man's man - and women find him irresistibly sexy. He's funny, he's charming, he knows how to say all the right things that just make you feel like you're the most important person on the planet; he's got all that down. He knows how to do all of that. So it's really fun to be around Bruce.
Was there a different relationship that you had with Bruce then Giovanni?
Halle Berry: Probably, because of the nature of the characters that we all played and our connection to each other. My relationship with Bruce was about seducing him so our banter in-between scenes was always very seductive and silly and sexy; we just tried to stay in that mode. Giovanni and I, because he was like my Guy Friday, we had a more cerebral conversations all the time and we talked about the computers a lot and you know, just different.
Did you have a lot of input on your wardrobe in this movie?
Halle Berry: Yes, but we did have an amazing costume designer, Renee Kalfus - but I need that on many movies for me. If I put on a certain piece of clothing then I feel like the character. I remember in Monster's Ball when I had those flip-flops on, I was Leticia Musgrove; I had to have the flip-flops. There's always one or two things that hones it in for me and this movie, there was the clothes; every character that I played within the one character had a piece of clothing that when I had it, I knew 'now I'm this character' so a big part.
Did you keep them?
Halle Berry: I did keep the clothes, yeah. I can't even wear them again but I have them.
Get all your questions - well, some of your questions answered in Perfect Stranger; it hits theaters April 13th, rated R.