Why Halle Berry Calls Her Oscar Win One of Her “Biggest Heartbreaks”

It’s been 18 years since Halle Berry made history by becoming the first Black woman to win an Oscar in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category. At one point during her acceptance speech, the Monster’s Ball star said this award “is for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

However, almost two decades later, Berry is still the only Black woman to take home this trophy.

“I thought Cynthia [Erivo, the star of Harriet] was going to do it last year,” she tells Variety for its latest cover story. “I thought Ruth [Negga, nominated for 2016’s Loving] had a really good shot at it, too. 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.”

Per the publication, Berry now feels conflicted about what her Oscar win represents.

“It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks,” she says to the magazine. “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. It felt so much bigger than me, mainly because I knew others should have been there before me and they weren’t.”

She also reflects on how she’d hoped her win would drive change. “Just because I won an award doesn’t mean that, magically, the next day, there was a place for me,” she tells the publication. “I was just continuing to forge a way out of no way.”

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