Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Halle Berry on why her latest film role is her most significant yet


Halle Berry has played a lot of kick-ass women over the course of her long acting career, from Storm in X-Men to Jinx Johnson in Die Another Day. In her latest film, Kidnap, she plays Karla Dyson, a woman who sets out to rescue her son after he is snatched from a park in New Orleans.

Berry, who has two children, recently spoke to Variety about her new role. The Oscar-winning actress said that she was drawn to the part of Dyson in part because she is a mother herself – but also because she wanted to help rectify the lack of black female heroes onscreen.

“I love seeing a woman, and a woman of colour, get to save the day,” she said. “Men save the day all the time in movies and it’s nice to see a woman do what I know women can do.”

Berry’s comments are backed up by research. Female protagonists appear in just 3% of action movies, according to a study published earlier this year, while less than a quarter of all female film characters are black, Asian or Latina.


Berry on the red carpet at the premiere of her latest film, Kidnap.

Luis Prieto, the director of Kidnap, echoed Berry’s statement. “We’ve seen a lot of movies like this before,” he said, alluding to other kidnap films such as Taken.

“But we’ve never seen a movie where the protagonist is a woman, much less where the protagonist is a mother.”

Read more: Halle Berry on why her Oscars win means absolutely nothing to her

In a separate interview, Berry said that she felt more connected to her character in Kidnap than any other film role in her career.

“I can’t think of a role that I’ve ever played that really tapped into Halle, into me [like this one],” she told Extra. “This role is more me than anybody… than any role I’ve ever played, I think.”


Berry with Jennifer Garner in 2013. The pair spearheaded legislation to protect the children of celebrities from paparazzi.

Berry has had to fight to keep her children safe in real life, as well as on-screen. Several years ago, she spearheaded a bill alongside Jennifer Garner to protect the children of celebrities from paparazzi, after witnessing her daughter Nahla being frightened by photographers.

“Nahla couldn’t leave the house. She couldn’t go to school. She was terrified. So not changing the law was not an option,” Berry said.

“I had to change the law, and so when you have that will and that desire… you’d be surprised what you can actually do.”

Read more: Serena Williams writes powerful essay calling for equal pay for black women

The bill was signed into US law in 2013, and paparazzo who harass children because of their parents’ professions now face up to a year in prison if found guilty.

“I always thought I was a pretty strong person, but now being a mother, the things I've been able to fight for my children have really made me understand how strong I am and how much power I have, actually,” said Berry.

“Not only a mother, but just as a woman, I'll always stand up for them.”

Images: Rex Features


halle berry.jpg

Halle Berry forced to respond to false pregnancy rumours


Chrissy Teigen shares the realities of “period skin” with the world


Whitney Port confirms baby boy’s retro name via honest motherhood post


This massive star was very nearly in Hocus Pocus

Oh sisters, how very different things could have been

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Quentin Tarantino on not doing more to stop Harvey Weintsein

“I knew enough to do more than I did”

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Lupita Nyong’o says she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein as a student

“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

Mary Berry takes part in heartbreaking film about child bereavement

“I would thank him for being a brilliant son.”

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Margot Robbie writes stirring open letter to Hollywood

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Gabrielle Union shares a powerful message about rape and harassment

The star says she’ll “keep talking out” for survivors like herself

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

Why the singer has opened up about her mental health

The singer says it was “really, really bad” during her time with the band

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Anna Faris understands why people were obsessed with her relationship

She and Chris Pratt were often hailed as #relationshipgoals

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2017

Cher is starring in the Mamma Mia! sequel and we can’t wait for 2018

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017