Halle Berry

Monsters Ball

Interviewed by Stephen Applebaum

Your performance in this film is emotionally very naked. Was it easy to let everything hang out the way you did?

Well, it was that kind of movie. It was about really servicing those characters and making them as flawed and as complicated as a human being is. Marc's request of us as actors was to be real in the moment, not be afraid of the material, and not to worry about doing the politically correct thing.

The sex scene between you and Billy Bob Thornton is very graphic. Can you comment on it?

I like to call that scene the kiss of life, because from that moment on the choices that these characters made indelibly affected their life and made them able to have a better one. The scene wasn't about sexual titillation in any way.

Nonetheless, how did you feel when you first watched yourself and Billy Bob grappling naked?

Honestly, I had an out-of-body experience. I thought, "Wow, look at her!" I never really connected it with myself, and I think that's how I am able to look at it. The character was so far removed from who I really. It's the first time in any movie-making experience of mine that I was able to watch a film and not be able to really see me.

How do you feel about doing "Bond 20" after an intense movie like this?

It's great that I can go from a movie like "Monster's Ball", which is so reality based, and then go do a movie like James Bond which is so fantasy based. For me, I think, that's the joy of being an artist.