Omigod! Halle's 40!
So, in honor of Halle Berry's 40th birthday today, I'm going to tell the Halle Berry story that I tell everybody.
Halle was the very first person that I ever interviewed. Nothing big - it was a beauty pageant magazine, my personal Ishtar if you will, but the pageant connection was how I got her in the first place. As a teen, I competed in a pageant called Miss New Jersey Teen All-American. I was about the 80th runner-up, but the national winner that year was a pretty black girl from Ohio who sent me an autographed picture. Five years later, I met her at the premiere of her first film, Strictly Business. Remember that one?
This was back in the day when you could barely know anyone and still be able to get into a movie premiere or an after party. I worked at a magazine at the time, so it helped. I don't remember where the party was that night, but I remember who was there - Nia Long and Wesley Snipes come to mind. The minute I saw Halle, I brought up the pageant. By that time, she had also competed in both Miss USA and Miss World, but no one really knew or cared about pageant stuff in that crowd, so I'm sure that mentioning it to her made me stand out. I told her that I was having no luck with her publicist in getting an interview with her and she told me to try again the next day. A week later, we were having lunch at a restaurant on 57th street in Manhattan (which is no longer there) called The Symphony Cafe. I asked for an extended lunch hour that day and my uncle, bless his heart, lent me his AMEX so I could pay for our lunch. Thankfully, Halle had mercy on me. She ordered a salad and iced tea - and damned if I didn't order the same exact thing. As if I would chow down in front of Halle Berry!
Anyway, she was very sweet and nice - no different than what you see today (from what I can tell) and yes, gorgeous. I mean, truly flawless - exactly like her pictures. And not much has changed apparently!
She was shooting Boomerang at the time and she was telling me about how she had to scramble for that role - and her roles in both Jungle Fever and Strictly Business. She also mentioned how she was very, very interested in not just acting, but producing movies.
"Have you seen Little Man Tate?" she asked me. "Now, that's a movie to me. That's what I want to do. That level."
And damned if she didn't do exactly what she said she would do. She starred in and produced Introducing Dorothy Dandridge - and snagged a few awards in the process. She also produced Lackawanna Blues which won a few Emmy awards last year.
And of course, we all know about her historic Oscar win and her uh, eventful love life - but that's what the papers are for. I'll leave all of that drama to the tabloids - and the tablogs - and just say
Happy Birthday Halle! I'm glad somebody in Hollywood is making 40 look good naturally!
God bless you girl...
Labels: Halle Berry