(LOS ANGELES) — When Halle Berry made history becoming the first Black woman to win Best Actress at the 2002 Academy Awards for Monster’s Ball, she truly believed that she was the first of many Black women to receive the honor.
Nearly 20 years later, however, Berry is still the only Black actress to have won it, which she calls a “heartbreak.”
In an interview with Variety, the Bruised actress opened up about why it blows her mind that no other woman of color has won Best Actress to date.
“I thought Cynthia [Erivo] was going to do it last year. I thought Ruth [Negga] had a really good shot at it too” said Berry, referencing the 2019 film Harriet and 2016’s Loving, respectively.
Continued the 54-year-old Emmy winner, “I thought there were women that rightfully, arguably, could have, should have. I hoped they would have, but why it hasn’t gone that way, I don’t have the answer.”
Understandably, Berry struggles to process how she is still the only Black actress to win Best Actress.
“It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks,” she admitted. “The morning after, I thought, ‘Wow, I was chosen to open a door.’ And then, to have no one … I question, ‘Was that an important moment, or was it just an important moment for me?'”
“I wanted to believe it was so much bigger than me,” the Kidnap star furthered. “It felt so much bigger than me, mainly because I knew others should have been there before me and they weren’t.”
Still, she does “feel like there’s a turning point,” especially with more women sitting in the director’s chair and hopes that will lead to a more diverse cast of winners at next year’s Academy Awards.
The 2021 Oscars are set for Sunday, April 25.
By Megan Stone
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