Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fighting to Hold on: Halle's 'Things We Lost in the Fire'

On a recent Oprah appearance, Oscar-winner Halle Berry revealed how she had to convince the moviemakers to cast her as the bereaving, gently acerbic Audrey, made a young widow through violence. While the production was rather set on David Duchovny for the role of Audrey's husband, they were intimidated by the dilemma they thought the illustrious beauty posed: how would they represent an interracial world? And what would her kids be like?

Perhaps the mixed-race Berry was the exact actress needed to help tear down the illusive barrier, and open up the filmmakers to the possibilities of Berry and Duchovny sharing a perfectly normal marriage with their normal kids.

Fully appreciating this family portrait, Berry asserted, "For me, that's my life, so it was a no-brainer--I'm the product of that. I thought they'd [the kids would ] be like me, and what's wrong with that?" To her credit, powerhouse Danish director, Susanne Bier of After the Wedding (2006), pays no attention to that 'issue' in her story. What she does focus on is the tale of how one woman aching from loss, finds a complicated way to reconnect to her husband through his dubious recovering best friend (Benicio Del Toro), and through the love of her dispirited children--all searching for hope.

Halle Berry stars in Things We Lost in the Fire
It's a good thing tenacious Berry is used to fighting for her parts, as it's the first role that inspired her to grasp hold, conceptually, of motherhood. sat with the pregnant Halle to discuss her searing performance in Things We Lost in the Fire. Was it the script that attracted you to this film or was it an awareness of Allan Loeb's films?
Halle Berry: I read the script and I thought, "Wow. I have got to play this part and be in this movie. I don’t care who else is in it. I’ve got to do this." The response we got was, "No, no, no." Then we finally were told, "Once we get a director in place then maybe we’ll know." There was an opportunity for me to meet with Susanne [Bier]. I had seen her movies when I learned she was being cast and then I really knew I wanted to work on this with her.

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