Thursday, September 17, 2020

Halle Berry Confirms Romance With Musician Van Hunt

After teasing that there was new romance in her life, Halle Berry, who will next be seen in 'Bruised', confirmed that she is dating Grammy Award-winning musician Van Hunt today by donning one of his shirts and captioning it "Now Ya Know". Happy for my Queen!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Halle Berry On Directing: I Was "Scared Sh*tless"



Most actors turned directors start by directing an episode of a television sitcom or drama, but Halle Berry pushes forward and takes on the daunting task of making an emotional drama with fight scenes for her directorial debut 'Bruised', which premieres tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In her virtual interview for the event, the actress open up about being scared to direct the project and what got her through. Read more details below:
The Hollywood Reporter: Oscar winner Halle Berry says her directorial debut, Bruised, left her filled with anxiety on set.

"I was scared shitless. And if you're not having any sense of worry, I don't think you care, I don't think you want to do your best," Berry said while appearing remotely at the Toronto Film Festival to tout the world premiere of her mixed martial arts drama.

What did give Berry assurance, however, while directing Bruised was her ability to talk to actors. "While I worked on movies for 30 years, I wasn't behind the camera, but I trusted that I'd be able to do that," she added.

As Berry looked back over her career during a master class at TIFF, she said she followed up an early modelling career and became an actress to tell stories. "Not unlike most young girls, I had hardship growing up. I grew up in an environment where I didn't always fit in. But I knew I was full of substance and full of stories to tell. And I knew that I had to somehow find a way to sort of get other people outside of seeing me in this shell," she told TIFF online viewers.

In Bruised, Berry plays a disgraced MMA fighter, Jackie "Justice," who has to conquer her own demons and face one of the fiercest rising stars of the MMA world to become the mother that she thinks her son Manny deserves. That role isn't the first dark horse character that Berry has played during her Hollywood career, which includes her Oscar-winning role of Leticia Musgrove, a dirt-poor widow, in Monster's Ball.

"You know I'm always most drawn to characters who are fractured, broken, who are fighting to survive. Every time I get to play those roles, I get to have a cathartic experience and I get to have some healing for myself," Berry explained.

Despite the cachet an Academy Award trophy brought to her Hollywood career, Berry says there's sadness in not seeing other Black women follow her and win the industry's biggest best actress prize. "Every time when Oscar time comes round, I get reflective and I think maybe this year, maybe this year, and it's heartbreaking that other women haven't stood there," she revealed.

Though she helmed Bruised, Berry and her film's producers didn't initially see her in the director's chair. But that changed after she talked to prospective directors and didn't see anyone more fitted than her to her to bring the script to the screen.

"I'd been thinking about directing, but I thought this was too big of a role, and star in this big role," she recounted. But after the encouragement of a friend and sleeping on the decision, Berry decided to put herself forward as the Bruised director.

"Once I embraced that concept, I had to go to the producers and pitch myself as the director. And to my surprise, they said yes," she recalled.

On the eve of her world premiere, Netflix acquired Bruised, which Berry credits in large part to the buzz which came to the project after TIFF picked up her directorial debut for its official lineup. "I can't stress enough, the importance of festivals, and especially this festival," Berry said. The Toronto Film Festival continues through Sept. 19.

Halle Berry's 'Bruised' Nearing Massive Netflix Deal



Knockout! All of Halle Berry's hard work on 'Bruised' is coming to fruition as it was revealed yesterday evening (September 11th) that Netflix is nearing a deal to acquire the worldwide rights to the project for almost $20 Million. Read more details of the acquisition below:

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix is getting the Toronto International Film Festival off to a strong start with a figurative and literal punch in the face. Deadline hears the streamer is firming an 8-figure sum for world rights to Bruised, the mixed martial arts drama that marks the directorial debut of Halle Berry.

It’s the first major deal on the (virtual) ground at TIFF. Netflix got a preemptive look at the film — which is premiering at Toronto as a work in progress — and took it off the table before its virtual premiere Saturday. When all done, deal will be high-teens, not far from $20 million, sources said. Endeavor Content and Netflix are closing it up right now.

Berry, who stars with Adan Canto, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Sheila Atim, plays Jackie Justice. She is a disgraced MMA fighter who has failed at the one thing she’s ever been good at – fighting. When 6-year-old Manny, the son she walked out on years ago, returns to her doorstep, Jackie has to conquer her own demons, face one of the fiercest rising stars of the MMA world, and ultimately fight to become the mother the boy deserves. The film is a Rocky-esque story of redemption, of a woman’s grueling MMA training in New Jersey to get into the kind of shape necessary to battle much younger opponents. Berry has done well in action turns in films from X-Men to John Wick and James Bond and the Oscar-winning actress is all in on this one. Anderson plays an encouraging MMA league owner and Atim turns in a performance to watch, as the MMA trainer who helps Justice get into fighting shape.

Script was written by Michelle Rosenfarb, and the film was produced by Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Brad Feinstein, Guymon Casady, Terry Dougas, Linda Gottlieb, Gillian Hormel, and Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Halle Berry Takes Hold Of Director's Chair With 'Variety'



Halle Berry plays cover girl for the new issue of Variety, where she discusses some of her career failures ('Catwoman', Jinx spinoff), why being the only black Lead Actress Oscar winner breaks her heart and how she found her way to the director's chair for 'Bruised'.

When Berry got hurt on “Bruised,” after taking a knee to the chest from co-star Valentina Shevchenko, she wasn’t surprised. But this time, the stakes felt momentous. “Bruised,” which premieres at the Toronto Film Festival this week, is also her directorial debut. The magnitude of the opportunity wasn’t lost on her, as a woman and a Black artist in an industry where the odds of directing a movie are slim if you’re not a white man. To make sure she was ready each day, she’d wake up at 5 a.m., and she couldn’t let the pain from broken ribs slow her down.

“I didn’t want to stop because I had prepared for so long,” Berry says. “We had rehearsed; we were ready. So my mind, my director’s mind, was just — keep going. And I compartmentalized that, and I just kept going: ‘I’m not going to stop. I’ve come too far. I’m going to act as if this isn’t hurting. I’m going to will myself through it.’ And so we did.”

In many ways, that’s been Halle Berry’s story. She’s refused to stop, despite the hurt — rejections from roles that could have been hers, pursuing scripts that were written for white actors (including “Bruised”) — even after she’d torn down barriers. For her Variety cover story, Berry didn’t flash a movie star smile during a socially distanced photo shoot in Los Angeles. “I do feel at risk,” she says, referring to her diabetes. “I’m very strict about quarantining and who is in my bubble. We have a whole section of the house: When you go out in the world and buy something, it has to sit in this purgatory.”

Berry, who has frequently been in the tabloids following her public breakups (she’s currently representing herself in her divorce from actor Olivier Martinez), didn’t volunteer any details about her personal life or talk about her two kids during a 90-minute interview. She wanted to discuss her career, including the heartbreak that her historic 2002 Oscar win didn’t lead to change, fights with Bryan Singer during the “X-Men” franchise and her long journey to the director’s chair.

“I definitely feel like there’s a turning point,” Berry says about the forward movement for women directors. “I’m more encouraged that as women, we are feeling confident enough to tell our stories. And there is a place for us to tell our stories. For so long, our experiences have been told narratively through the guise of men.”


Berry discovered acting in the years post-college, after contemplating a career as an investigative journalist. Her first part was on “Living Dolls,” in which she played Emily, the lone Black character on the 1989 ABC sitcom about a sorority of teenage models. “I had a job, but I didn’t have a real part or purpose on that show,” Berry says. “I was very much the token Black person that didn’t have a storyline that was very compelling or meant much. I was the character that started every scene with ‘Hey, guys!’ and ended everything with ‘Come on, let’s go.’ Today, that wouldn’t happen, when you look at the landscape of television about the Black experience.”

Movies proved more welcoming. Berry made an indelible mark on the big screen in 1991’s “Jungle Fever,” in which she pitched herself to director Spike Lee for the role of a “crack ho” instead of the “pretty wife.” Throughout the ’90s, she worked steadily, portraying everything from the villain in the live-action “The Flintstones” to an activist in Warren Beatty’s political satire “Bulworth.” She landed an Emmy for the 1999 HBO film “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” written by a then-unknown Shonda Rhimes, and earned international box office stardom as Storm in 2000’s “X-Men” and in three sequels.

But “Monster’s Ball” was an even bigger peak in her career. In 2002, for her performance as a waitress consumed by grief in the indie drama, Berry became the first (and still only) Black woman to win the best actress Oscar. That same year, she starred as the seductive spy Jinx in “Die Another Day,” the 20th James Bond film, which grossed more than $400 million globally.

And then — nothing. Big directors such as Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese never came calling. Hollywood seemed to revel in her failure with 2004’s “Catwoman,” a cheesy flop about the comic book villain, which swept the Razzie Awards. More recently, Berry has popped up in popcorn action movies such as 2013’s “The Call” and 2017’s “Kidnap.” Through it all, she says, she’s never stopped fighting for roles.


“I think it’s largely because there was no place for someone like me,” says Berry, who has been encouraged by the recent discourse about inclusivity in the industry. “I thought, ‘Oh, all these great scripts are going to come my way; these great directors are going to be banging on my door.’ It didn’t happen. It actually got a little harder. They call it the Oscar curse. You’re expected to turn in award-worthy performances.”

In her Academy Awards speech, Berry — through tears — said that she’d opened a door for “every nameless, faceless woman of color” watching at home. Two decades later, she can’t fathom the reality that not a single leading Black woman has followed. “I thought Cynthia [Erivo, the star of ‘Harriet’] was going to do it last year,” Berry says. “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.”

Berry is still conflicted about what her Oscar win represents. “It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks,” she says. “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.”

In retrospect, Berry says it was naive to think a statue would change anything. “Just because I won an award doesn’t mean that, magically, the next day, there was a place for me,” she says. “I was just continuing to forge a way out of no way.” She likens it to how Dorothy Dandridge must have felt at the 1955 Academy Awards, as the first Black actor nominated for a lead role, who then went back to being an outsider in Hollywood.


After the success of “Die Another Day,” “Bond” producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson lobbied for Jinx to get her own spinoff, an idea that thrilled Berry. But MGM balked at the $80 million price tag. “It was very disappointing,” Berry says. “It was ahead of its time. Nobody was ready to sink that kind of money into a Black female action star. They just weren’t sure of its value. That’s where we were then.”

Instead, she decided to portray Catwoman, thinking that it was a risk that could pay off — and change the kinds of roles offered to Black actors. “People said to me, ‘You can’t do that. You’ve just won the Oscar,’” Berry says. “Because I didn’t do Jinx, I thought, ‘This is a great chance for a woman of color to be a superhero. Why wouldn’t I try this?’”

But she quickly noticed warning signs. “The story didn’t feel quite right,” she says about a dubious plot that involved a villain (played by Sharon Stone) with a cosmetics empire. “I remember having that argument: ‘Why can’t Catwoman save the world like Batman and Superman do? Why is she just saving women from a face cream that cracks their face off?’ But I was just the actor for hire. I wasn’t the director. I had very little say over that.”

When Berry first read the script for “Bruised,” she felt a strong connection to the character, an MMA fighter named Jackie Justice who returns to the cage when everyone has counted her out. Berry had been training for three years in mixed martial arts. To perform some of her stunts on “John Wick,” she’d immersed herself in jujitsu, judo, taekwondo and kickboxing — and she saw herself in the character of Jackie. But she had to be patient. Another director, Nick Cassavetes, was attached to make the movie with Blake Lively as the star.

“I’m tortured, because now I can’t let it go,” Berry says of the waiting period. “I’ve been thinking of how I can reimagine it for someone like me, a Black woman in middle age — not starting life — who’s looking for a last chance, not another chance. I’m stuck on it.”

Six months later, when the script became available, Berry pitched herself as the lead to the producers — including Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Films, who made “John Wick” and “Sicario.” “Why not a Black woman?” Berry remembers thinking. “It’s an old genre; there’s so many great fight films that have been made. I made the point why it would be worth retelling an age-old story with this new twist.”


She convinced the movie’s creative team, but they needed a director. Berry met with seven candidates. But she came away from all of those conversations feeling dissatisfied — nobody saw her vision of the film.

Finally, her producing partner, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas (“Hustlers”) came up with an idea: Berry should direct the movie herself. “I remember listening to her feedback from one of her meetings,” Goldsmith-Thomas says. “I just said, ‘This is nuts. You’re waiting for someone to tell you the things you know. You understand the evolution of redemption. Why the f— aren’t you standing in your own truth?’”

Directing was something that Berry had always thought about, having spent 30 years on movie sets, quietly observing — “watching and learning and absorbing” — how everyone from Lee to Beatty framed a scene. But when she’d had conversations about directing before, they’d been in the abstract. Now she had to sell herself as the first-time director of a real script. “I thought, ‘They’re going to think I’m high,’” Berry says. “They’re going to think, ‘Halle has lost her mind.’”

But instead, they hired her. For Berry, directing felt like a career rebirth. She threw herself into every aspect of production, from script revisions to cinematography. “It’s not just being a dancing bear,” Berry says. “I can project what I want to say.” She found the director’s chair far more empowering than being an actor. “As an actor, I always show up and do my part, and I can only do what I can do,” she says. “Being the director, I have a part in the totality of every department. I get to have a voice. That was different, and I really loved that.”

When she learned that “Bruised” would be playing in Toronto, Berry screamed in celebration — she’d submitted a “work-in-progress” cut of the film, not knowing COVID-19 would restrict international travel. “I’m hearing they’re going to send out screeners, but I’m thinking, ‘That’s piracy waiting to happen,’” Berry says before conceding that the details will be ironed out. In a follow-up email, she clarifies that “Bruised,” which is seeking distribution, won’t be doing virtual screenings. It will premiere on Sept. 12 in Toronto before a live audience.


“I’m hopeful that whatever partner comes along, they’ll support my vision and we’ll work together to bring a fully finished film to the mass public at the right time,” Berry writes. “That said, I’m extremely excited, and nervous and elated (and feeling all of the feels), for the first Toronto audience to see it.”

On YouTube, Berry’s Oscar acceptance speech has been viewed more than 5 million times. It’s still as inspiring today as it was in 2002 to watch presenter Russell Crowe open the envelope and read her name. Berry looks shocked — for the record, she says, that wasn’t a performance. Berry didn’t expect to win that night, and she hadn’t even written a speech. “The only thing I remember,” she says, “is somehow I was up on the stage, and I remember Russell whispering in my ear, ‘Breathe, mate. Breathe.’ Then I remember I turned around and saw all the faces and started talking.”

One of Berry’s professional hurdles has been to convince directors to look past her beauty. “That is a blessing and a curse,” she says. “People always wanting to see my physical self first, and then some will argue, ‘That’s what got you in the door.’ But even if that got me in the door, I’ve had to fight that image of being stereotyped, fight to be seen as an artist.”

On “Monster’s Ball,” even after she was cast, members of her team cautioned her about playing a character who has sex with a racist corrections officer (Billy Bob Thornton). They thought it could damage her image.

“It was a little movie,” Berry says. “And it had this love scene that, I guess, was explicit in the minds of some people. And I was getting paid nothing. They thought if you’re going to do something like that, get a s—load of money. But that’s not why I’m doing it. I didn’t feel it was exploitative. It was necessary for the character.”


A few years ago, Berry retired one of her most well-known performances, as Storm, in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Since then, the film’s director, Singer, has been accused of sexual assault by at least four men who say they were underage at the time (which he denies); he also was fired mid-shoot from 2018’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for allegedly not showing up to work (which he also denies).

When asked about her experiences with Singer, Berry answers the question with ellipses. “Bryan’s not the easiest dude to work with,” she says. “I mean, everybody’s heard the stories — I don’t have to repeat them — and heard of his challenges, and what he struggles with.

“I would sometimes be very angry with him,” she continues. “I got into a few fights with him, said a few cuss words out of sheer frustration. When I work, I’m serious about that. And when that gets compromised, I get a little nutty. But at the same time, I have a lot of compassion for people who are struggling with whatever they’re struggling with, and Bryan struggles.” (Singer, through his publicist, declined to comment.)

“Sometimes, because of whatever he’s struggling with, he just didn’t always feel present,” Berry says. “He didn’t feel there. And we’re outside in our little ‘X-Men’ stage freezing our ass off in Banff, Canada, with subzero weather and he’s not focusing. And we’re freezing. You might get a little mad.”

Berry has been inspired by the #MeToo movement. “Clearly, things need to change,” she says. “And what we as women were acquiescing to, and were allowing needs to change. And it needed to get blown up. And people needed to be outed.”

It’s too early to say when she’ll direct again, but she’d like to. As she was editing “Bruised,” she showed a version to Spike Lee, the first director who ever hired her to be in a film. “Holy s—,” he told her. “You made a movie.”

Halle Berry To Keynote 2020 Toronto Film Festival



With her directorial debut 'Bruised' scheduled to premiere at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival, Halle Berry will also participate in a candid conversation entitled 'In Conversation with Halle Berry', which will happen virtually on Friday, September 11th.

Halle Berry is set to take part in a candid conversation as part of the Toronto Film Festival's In Conversation With... series, organizers said Monday.

On Sept. 11, the Oscar winner will appear virtually as Berry discusses her feature directorial debut, the MMA drama Bruised, which will have a world premiere in Toronto. Berry will also star in the feature as a disgraced MMA fighter, Jackie "Justice."

Toronto organizers also announced that Canadian documentary and TV drama director Tracey Deer will receive the TIFF Emerging Talent Award, presented by L'Oréal Paris and supported by MGM, at the 2020 TIFF Tribute Awards on Sept. 15. Deer is bringing her debut narrative feature, Beans, to Toronto for a world premiere.

Ahead of TIFF, sales outfit WaZabi Films picked up the world rights, excluding Canada, to Deer’s Beans, about a Mohawk girl on the cusp of adolescence who must grow up fast and become her own kind of warrior during an armed stand-off known as the 1990 Oka Crisis.

And the Toronto fest named as its 2020 TIFF Rising Stars Sheila Atim (Bruised), Rainbow Dickerson (Beans), Tanya Maniktala (A Suitable Boy) and Madeleine Sims-Fewer (Violation).

Earlier, Toronto tapped Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins and directors Chloe Zhao and Mira Nair for tributes at its upcoming 20th edition. TIFF's online plans also include industry conference sessions, networking events and digital showcases of film titles by national cinema agencies.

Planning for a first-time online industry conference follows the physical edition of the Toronto Film Festival, set to run Sept. 10 to 19, being sharply reduced in size and scope due to the coronavirus pandemic.

TIFF plans to screen around 50 film titles during its first five days in physical theaters, and at drive-in and outdoor cinema venues. Toronto will also host virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry events amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Halle Berry Reveals First Official 'Bruised' Still


Blood, sweat and tears! All of that can be expected when Halle Berry's directorial debut 'Bruised', premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

In the upcoming story of redemption, the Academy Award winner plays Jackie “Justice,” a disgraced MMA fighter that lost at the one thing she’s good at. When her six-year-old son comes back into her life, she decides to fight for him to give him a good life and starts training to become the champion she was meant to be, and featival co-head Cameron Bailey has touted it one of the "very best performances of her career". The script is by Michelle Rosenfarb and the movie will be produced by John Wick producer Basil Iwanyk.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Halle Berry Hints At New Romance With Instagram Photo



After nearly three years as a single woman, Halle Berry may have new love in her life. The 53-year-old actress shared a photo with a bottle of wine and a mystery man's feet next to her own, which she simply captioned "sunday,funday". See the post below:

View this post on Instagram

sunday,funday❤️

A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

Halle Berry Backs Out Of Transgender Role Amid Backlash



Halle Berry has closed the door on the opportunity to play a transgender character after mounting backlash from the community, and it should be noted that the Academy Award winner was never officially cast in the film. Read more of the story and her response below:
Variety: Halle Berry has pulled out of a role in an upcoming film in which she’d play a transgender character after facing backlash online.

In an Instagram live interview on Friday, the actor said she had been preparing for the role, but had not been officially cast.

“[It’s] a character where the woman is a trans character, so she’s a woman that transitioned into a man. She’s a character in a project I love that I might be doing,” Berry had said. She added that she wanted to take a “deep dive” into “that world,” likely referring to the trans community.

However, Berry faced backlash online after misgendering the character multiple times during the interview. “Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project,” she said.

On Monday night, she issued an apology and pulled out of the role, saying “the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories.”

“Over the weekend I had the opportunity to discuss my consideration of an upcoming role as a transgender man, and I’d like to apologize for those remarks. As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role, and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories,” she wrote. “I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and will continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake. I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera.”

Berry’s comments caught the attention of the Twitter account for the Netflix documentary “Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen,” which was released last month and examines Hollywood’s portrayal of transgender people and their stories.

The doc’s account asked that Berry watch the film to “understand how cis actors like yourself acting in trans roles has major cultural consequences offscreen.”

After Berry’s apology, the account thanked her for “listening and learning.” The LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD also responded, saying “We are pleased that Halle Berry listened to the concerns of transgender people and learned from them. Other powerful people should do the same. A good place to start is by watching ‘Disclosure’ to learn about trans representation in media.”

In recent years, cisgender actors have faced controversy over playing transgender characters. In 2018, Scarlett Johansson was cast as a transgender character in the film “Rub and Tug,” sparking backlash from trans rights groups and activists. A week later, she exited the role.

Halle Berry's MMA Drama 'Bruised' To Premiere At TIFF 2020



Last month, the Toronto International Film Festival announced that their 2020 festival would be scaled back in light of coronavirus and revealed the first films scheduled to premiere at the festival including the MMA drama 'Bruised', which is the directorial debut from Academy Award winner Halle Berry. Read more about the plans for the festival below:

Variety: It’s safe to say that the 2020 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival won’t be like any of the 44 editions that preceded it. We are living in the age of the coronavirus, after all.

Because of this new pandemic reality, this year’s TIFF will be a hybrid of physical screenings and virtual events. It unspools between Sept. 10 through Sept. 19 and will include screenings of roughly 50 films during its initial five days — that plan is subject to approval by city and provincial health officials.

Some of these films include “Ammonite,” directed by Francis Lee of “God’s Own Country” renown; “Another Round,” from Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark); “Concrete Cowboys,” an adaptation of the novel Ghetto Cowboy from director Ricky Staub; “Bruised,” the directorial debut film of Oscar-winner Halle Berry (USA); and “True Mothers” by Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase. More titles will be announced over the summer.

TIFF generates more than $200 million in annual economic activity for Toronto and Ontario, which helped spur the festival’s organizers to come up with a plan for operating safely during COVID-19. Other film festivals such as Tribeca or Cannes have been cancelled, postponed or reconstituted as virtual events.

Earlier this week, TIFF laid off 31 full-time staff positions because of closures related to coronavirus. The organization said it expects there to be a 50% reduction in revenue from 2019, putting a severe financial strain on its operations.

For the first time in its history, TIFF will launch a digital platform for the festival. Over the 10 days, the platform will host digital screenings, as well as numerous talks and special events.

“The pandemic has hit TIFF hard, but we’ve responded by going back to our original inspiration — to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience,” said Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of TIFF. “Our teams have had to rethink everything, and open our minds to new ideas. In countless video calls over the past three months we have rebuilt our festival for 2020 drawing on our five decades of commitment to strong curation, support for filmmakers and engagement with audiences.”

For its 45th year, TIFF will be welcoming 50 celebrated filmmakers and actors as TIFF ambassadors. It’s a group that will include Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Martin Scorsese, Nadine Labaki, Alfonso Cuarón, Riz Ahmed, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Isabelle Huppert and Claire Denis.

“We could never have anticipated the global seismic changes we would be facing in 2020,” said Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head of TIFF. We tapped into the original spirit of the Festival from when it began in 1976 as our guiding light. The distilled edition of TIFF 2020 reflects a deep love of film, passion for our loyal audiences, commitment to the industry and a whole lot of heart.”

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Featured TV Series: 'Extant' Season 1 (June, July & August 2020)



Every single month we look at one of Halle Berry's movies and some of the highlights of that particular period in her life. This summer, in honor of her joining the 'Moonfall' cast, I have decided to briefly switch it up and cover her first foray into space with 'Extant'.

Each week over the next three months, new clips will be posted from a new episode of the series’ 13-episode first season starting with the dramatic pilot and culminating with the explosive season finale. Take a look at the schedule for each episode beneath:

June 01: Episode 01 - “Re-Entry”
June 08: Episode 02 - “Extinct”
June 15: Episode 03 - “Wish You Were Here”
June 22: Episode 04 - “Shelter”
June 29: Episode 05 - “What on Earth is Wrong”

July 06: Episode 06 - “Nightmares”
July 13: Episode 07 - “More in Heaven and Earth”
July 20: Episode 08 - “Incursion”
July 27: Episode 09 - “Care and Feeding”

August 03: Episode 10 - “A Pack of Cards”
August 10: Episode 11 - “A New World”
August 17: Episode 12 - “Before the Blood”
August 24: Episode 13 - “Ascension”

Visit our official Instagram page (@UltimateHalleBerry) for highlights throughout the summer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Halle Berry Heads To Space In Roland Emmerich’s 'Moonfall'



Halle Berry has signed on as the female lead in 'Moonfall', the Roland Emmerich-helmed sci-fi epic, which already counts Josh Gad (pictured with Berry above) amongst its cast and has been acquired by Lionsgate for release in 2021. Read more details below:

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Halle Berry will star in Moonfall, the latest sci-fi disaster picture from Roland Emmerich.

Berry joins Josh Gad, who was first to sign up, in the thriller that Emmerich, who made destroying Earthly landmarks his signature with movies such as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, co-wrote and is directing.

Production is eying a fall start with Lionsgate, which released Emmerich’s last movie, World War II pic Midway, distributing in North America.

Penned by Emmerich and 2012 co-writer Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen, Moonfall sees its plot go into action when the moon is knocked from its orbit by a mysterious force and is on a collision course with Earth. Life as we know it hangs in the balance and with just weeks to go before impact, a ragtag team is sent on a seemingly impossible mission to land on the lunar surface and save humanity.

Gad is playing an eccentric genius that deduces that the moon has fallen out of its orbit. Berry will play an astronaut-turned-NASA administrator whose previous mission holds a clue to the catastrophe.

Emmerich is producing Moonfall under his Centropolis banner with Kloser producing through his company, Street Entertainment.

As he did with Midway, Emmerich and Centropolis are independently producing and financing Moonfall, overseeing all aspects of production, financing and delivery. They are also collaborating with Lionsgate and AGC International, which sold out the film worldwide in Cannes 2019, as well as with international distributors on marketing and distribution.

Lionsgate is eyeing a North American release in 2021.

Getting Berry for an outing is a big deal as the Oscar-winning actress has made few big-screen appearances in recent years. Her last outing saw her team up with Keanu Reeves to shoot, stab and maim in 2019’s John Wick 3: Parabellum. Before that, she appeared in 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle. She also recently wrapped her directorial debut, Bruised, in which she also stars as a female MMA fighter. Berry is repped by WME and Management 360.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Featured Film: 'Frankie & Alice' (May 2020)



Each month we will take a closer look at one of Halle Berry's films and some of the highlights of that period in her life. This month's film is 'Frankie & Alice', which was a passion project that took over a decade to get made and features a virtuoso performance from the actress.

Beautifully directed by Geoffrey Sax and co-starring Stellan Skarsgård, Phylicia Rashad and Chandra Wilson, the film is based on a true story about a popular go-go dancer/stripper in the 1970s who has dissociative identity disorder.

Visit our official Instagram page (@UltimateHalleBerry) for highlights throughout the month.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Halle Berry Among Black Actresses Featured In 'T' Magazine



Extraordinary African-American actresses, including Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Taraji P. Henson and more, remember their first roles and discuss the solidarity they feel with one another in the latest issue of 'T: The New York Times Style Magazine'.



Sunday, April 12, 2020

Halle Berry Launches 'Re-Spin' Digital Health & Wellness App



Halle Berry extended her 'Re-Spin' brand by launching a digital health and wellness community app, which is now available for download in the Apple App Store. Not only does it allow fans to interact with each other, but the app also allows you to buy 'Re-Spin' products and get tips directly from the actress. See her message and watch the intro video below:

Announcing @respin, a digital health and wellness community from me to you. At 22 years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes… It was the moment I knew my health journey needed to change. Nutrition, fitness and wellness has since transformed my life - reconnecting my mind, body and soul - teaching me how truly valuable my body is. I know that we’re all at home right now, and that this time in the world is challenging for each of us in different ways. As we collectively re-align, I invite you to join the @respin community - this is an early release and a work in progress, but feel free to use it as a wellness resource, a place to connect, to learn something new or maybe just as a distraction from our surreal circumstances. Either way I am thrilled to have you here with us, and look forward to our journey together. Download the app now via #linkinbio - 🎥 Mark C. Roe - Special thanks to my creative partner @iamlindsayflores and my business partner @kendrabrackenferguson ♥️♥️

Friday, April 10, 2020

Halle Berry Defends Letting Her Son Wear Heels



Halle Berry's lighthearted moment of letting her son Maceo wear her heels was met with harsh criticism from fans on social media, but for the actress, the moment was about laughter and making the most of a bad situation (quarantine). See her response to critics below:


Halle Berry To Reveal Secret Project Tomorrow



Halle Berry is gearing up for a big announcement! The actress revealed to her 6 million followers on Instagram that she will share a early version of a new project that she has been hard at work on tomorrow (April 11th). Watch her tantalizing preview below:

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Featured Film: 'B.A.P.S' (April 2020)



Each month we will take a closer look at one of Halle Berry's films and some of the highlights of that period in her life. This month's film is 'B.A.P.S', which has become a black cult classic.

Directed by Robert Townsend, the film stars Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle as waitresses, who decide to fly to Los Angeles for a music-video audition in order to raise money for their dream project -- a business that combines soul-food dining with a hair salon. Circumstances eventually find the Southern ladies on the estate of Mr. Blakemore (Martin Landau), an elderly millionaire. Despite their vast cultural differences, Nisi and Mickey form close bonds with Blakemore and his butler (Ian Richardson).

Visit our official Instagram page (@UltimateHalleBerry) for highlights throughout the month.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

'Boomerang': Halle Berry & Lena Waithe-Produced Series Sets Women of Color As Directors For Season 2 & Reveals Trailer



Season 2 of 'Boomerang' is coming to BET on March 11th and the series, which is executive produced by Halle Berry and Lena Waithe, is upping the ante by bringing a roster of women of color directors to helm the show's sophomore season. Read more details beneath:

‘Boomerang’ Season 2 To Be Directed Entirely By Women Of Color

BET’s Boomerang is coming back for season 2 on March 11 and it’s bringing a talented roster of women of color to direct all eight episodes. The network also released a new trailer that gives an extended look at the comedy which puts Bryson (Tequan Richmond), Simone (Tetona Jackson) and the entire Boomerang gang in a whole new — and hyperrealistic — series of life lessons.

Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions have set Angeli Millan (The Cleveland Show, Us and Them, The Muppets) and Dime Davis (A Black Lady Sketch Show, The Chi) as co-showrunners. Davis, who also worked on the show’s freshman season, directed four of the eight episodes while Tiffany Johnson (Dear White People, Black Monday, Twenties) and Katrelle N. Kindred will direct two episodes each. Kindred was brought on by Davis and is also a member of ViacomCBS’s ViewFinder Emerging TV Directors Program. Boomerang marks her TV directorial debut.

The decision for an all-female directors slate for the second was supported by Hillman Grad Productions, 606 Films, BET, Paramount and Viacom.“This season, we really wanted to go bigger and bolder,” said Davis. “Keeping everything we loved from the first season and dumping the rest, we were able to find a unique approach to the storytelling in season 2. We were given the freedom to make Boomerang our own, and Angeli and I ran with that.”

She continued, “We’ve truly made this season of Boom an ensemble show, delivering dynamic character arcs that ask a lot of our cast — and it’s all been worth it — the performances, this season, are truly magical…as is the show.”

For those of you who need a refresher, Boomerang is based on the iconic ’90s romantic comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Berry. The BET series takes place about 25 years after the events of Marcus Graham’s (played by Murphy in the original) feature. It centers on Marcus and Angela Lewis’s (played by Berry in the film) daughter Simone and Bryson (son of Jaqueline Broyer, who was played by Robin Givens in the movie). The two are making moves as marketing professionals — like their parents. While they attempt to step out of their parents’ shadows, they try to navigate the terrain of relationships with their friends. The series also stars Leland Martin as Ari, RJ Walker as David, Brittany Inge as Crystal and Lala Milan as Tia.

Boomerang is produced through Hillman Grad Productions and Halle Berry’s 606 Films, in conjunction with Paramount Television.

Featured Film: 'The Call' (March 2020)



Each month we will take a closer look at one of Halle Berry's films and some of the highlights of that period in her life. This month's film is the suspense thriller 'The Call'.

Directed by Brad Anderson, the film stars Abigail Breslin as Casey Welson, a teenage girl kidnapped by a serial killer and Berry as Jordan Turner, a 9-1-1 operator, still suffering emotionally from a prior botched 9-1-1 call, who receives Casey's call, while Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli and David Otunga also star.

Visit our official Instagram page (@UltimateHalleBerry) for highlights throughout the month.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Report: Halle Berry To Star In 'John Wick' Spinoff About Sofia



Since she commanded the screen in 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum', fans have been calling for a spinoff starring Halle Berry's Sofia and it looks like we may be finally getting our wish. According to We Got This Covered, who has correctly predicted a lot of castings, Lionsgate has put a project revolving about the character in development. Details below:

John Wick Spinoff Starring Halle Berry’s Sofia Reportedly In The Works

Halle Berry’s Sofia made quite the impression in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Though she only appeared in three extended scenes, those may have been the best bits of the film.

For those who haven’t seen it, Berry’s Sofia is a veteran assassin and manager at the Moroccan Continental who owes Keanu Reeves’ John a favor. The pair bond over their love of dogs as they head out with Sofia’s two Belgian Malinois hounds in tow to meet Jerome Flynn’s villainous Barracuda. Barracuda then does the one thing you definitely don’t want to do in a John Wick movie: he shoots one of the dogs.

Fortunately, this dog’s wearing a bulletproof vest. Even so, it leads into a brutal and amazing extended action sequence where the two assassins (and the dogs) kick some serious ass. And now it seems that we might get to see more of Sofia and her faithful hounds, as our sources – the same ones who told us a Green Lantern show is coming to HBO Max and John Cena is playing Vin Diesel’s brother in Fast & Furious 9, both of which turned out to be true – say that a John Wick spinoff is in development and will focus on Sofia on the hunt for her daughter.

This project may be the second female-led John Wick spinoff we get, too, as Ballerina is also in production. That pic will star Unity Phelan’s ballerina assassin character from the third film as she gets revenge on the men who killed her family. John Wick: Chapter 3 screenwriter Shay Hatten is on script duties with veteran action director Len Wiseman helming the project.

But Phelan will have to put some serious effort in to match Berry’s dedication. During the making of John Wick 3, director Chad Stahelski revealed to EW how much work the actress put into training to play Sofia, as he explained:

“She would have to do three hours of martial arts, two hours of guns, and then, because the dogs are so sensitive, Halle had to become a trainer for the animals. So, she [spent] another three, four hours a day just hanging out with the dogs, and giving them commands, and telling them what to do. That is a massive time commitment for an actress of her caliber that could be making millions of dollars elsewhere on other jobs. She just wanted to blow up everything to make a statement, saying, ‘Look at me, look what I can do,’ you know, pretty much, ‘Fuck y’all.’ [Laughs]”

Hell yeah. Fingers crossed this can match the action intensity of the main franchise. There’s no word yet on when it’s going to be out, but John Wick 4 is currently scheduled for release on May 21st, 2021.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Halle Berry Launches Fitness Line, 'Re-Spin By Halle Berry'



For two years now, Halle Berry and her spirit animal Peter Lee Thomas has taken us on a fitness journey with their Fitness Friday posts, and now the award-winning actress is launching her own fitness line 'Re-Spin by Halle Berry'.

The line, which will expand to include more products in coming months, can be found at Ross Dress For Less, Marshall's, TJ Mxx or Burlington. Watch the exciting announcement below:

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Featured Film: 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' (February 2020)



Each month we will take a closer look at one of Halle Berry's films and some of the highlights of that period in her life. This month's film is 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'.

Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston, this selection not only gives me a chance to highlight one of Berry's best screen performance, it also serves as a fitting Black History Month choice to celebrate the underappreciated legacy of one of our finest storytellers, as well as, one of the most poignant black love stories.

Visit our official Instagram page (@UltimateHalleBerry) for highlights throughout the month.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Featured Film: 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love' (January 2020)



Last month, Ultimate Halle Berry launched an Instagram account (@ultimatehalleberry) and each month, we share highlights of a featured movie.

The featured movie for January 2020 is 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love', the Frankie Lymon biopic that starred Larenz Tate as the rock crooner and Berry, Vivica A. Fox and Lela Rochon as the three wives fighting for his estate. Watch the film's theatrical trailer beneath: