Halle Berry is looking back at the special night at the 74th Academy Awards, when she received the Best Actress award for her performance in ‘Monster’s Ball,’ revealing she was not expecting to win after being nominated for the first time.
“Back in those days, if you didn’t win the Globe, you really didn’t get the Academy Award,” The actress explained, “So I’d pretty much resigned myself to believing, ‘It’s great to be here, but I’m not going to win.’”
Competing against Nicole Kidman for ‘Moulin Rouge,’ Judi Dench for ‘Iris,’ Sissy Spacek for ‘In the Bedroom,’ and Renée Zellweger for ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary,’ Halle was the seventh Black actress ever nominated in this category.
Fast forward to one of the most memorable Academy Award moments and an emotional speech, the Hollywood star stated at the time, “It’s been 74 years,” referring to the fact that she was the first Black woman to win the award.
Now, 20 years after the special moment, Halle has confessed she is in disbelief that she is still the only Black woman to win the Best Actress award, “It didn’t open the door,” she explained, “The fact that there’s no one standing next to me is heartbreaking.”
During her speech Halle told the crowd, “It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
Reflecting on the meaning behind the Awards the actress says today, “Awards are the icing on the cake — they’re your peers saying you were exceptionally excellent this year — but does that mean that if we don’t get the exceptionally excellent nod, that we were not great, and we’re not successful, and we’re not changing the world with our art, and our opportunities aren’t growing?”