Halle Berry says that she's "heartbroken" over her historic Oscar win. Berry won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 2001 film Monster's Ball. During her speech, she thanked the women who had paved the way for this moment and said that she wanted this to help open the door for every "nameless, faceless woman of color" who were watching her accept the award.
Since her Oscar win, Berry's career has arguably been full of ups and downs. For the most part, she's able to shine in both Hollywood blockbusters and independent films; some of Berry's best films according to IMDb include John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum and X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, Berry has certainly hit some snags in her journey as well, such as the universally panned Catwoman, although she now says that the experience ultimately helped push her to want to direct films.
In a Variety interview, Berry highlights her frustration that she's still the only Black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. She highlights that she thought both Cynthia Erivo from Harriet and Ruth Negga from Loving had "really good shot[s]" in 2019 and 2016, respectively. When neither Erivo nor Negga won, Berry says she was disappointed and doesn't "have the answer" for why these women didn't take home the gold.
That being said, Berry expresses her internal conflict over her 2002 Oscar win, saying that it remains one of her "biggest heartbreaks." In particular, Berry feels that her win symbolized a moment far bigger than herself, especially as she believes that "others should have been there before [her]" but never had the opportunity. As such, Berry thought her Oscar win would help set the stage, both literally and figuratively, for more women of color. At the end of the day, though, Berry says her win didn't mean there was suddenly "a place for her," and she had to continue to "forge a way out of no way." It's easy to understand Berry's sense of disappointment and heartbreak; despite the ongoing push for diversity from entertainment awards such as the Oscars, both people and films of color continue to remain sidelined.
The power dynamic in Hollywood has long been controlled by straight, white men. Although there are now steps being taken to help uplift marginalized voices, such change can often seem excruciatingly slow. Yet while Berry may be uncertain over how her win changed anything, it was still an incredibly inspiring moment—and, hopefully, one that will help move the Hollywood machine in a positive direction.