“My son has been saying my full name loudly in public, like, ‘Halle Berry, can you pass me the ketchup?'"

By Halle Berry, as told to Laura Brown
Aug 06, 2019 @ 8:00 am
 Halle Berry in her own clothing and accessories. Photo by Paul McLean/LGA Management

You know, 20 years ago, Black faces on magazine covers were few and far between. Those early covers, like my first one for InStyle in 2000, meant so much to me because I knew what it meant to other Black women and Black little girls to see themselves represented in popular culture.

Now I get to tell my own stories and share my own photos on Instagram. Being able to run my own PR in a way on social media has been liberating. It wasn’t just to say, “Oh, look at my fabulous life.” It was like, “How can I use this as a platform to represent who I am and to show my love of art? How do I fit my kids — the biggest part of my life — in there without exploiting them?” I wanted the first image I posted in March 2016 of my bare back to show a woman who was feminine, strong, and in touch with her sexuality.

VIDEO: Halle Berry Looks Back at Her InStyle Covers

RELATED: The 25th Anniversary Issue — Celebs Look Back at Their Favorite InStyle Covers

Honestly, I felt the sexiest during both my pregnancies. Around the time of my third InStyle cover, in 2007, I became a mom at 40. Knowing that someone would always be counting on me made me a better person. I’m more focused and in line with my values and my goals. I stopped letting negativity get me down. Plus, I loved being pregnant. Had I started earlier, I probably would have had five children. Or if I hadn’t been busy trying to make movies, I would have been the perfect surrogate. All the hormones made me feel amazing. I was so alive with my purpose and my femininity. It felt like my body was doing what it was built to do.

Being a mom is the best job, but my kids don’t care about who I am outside of this house. My daughter [Nahla, 11] got a sense of who I am from friends at school. And — this is funny — for the last year, my son [Maceo, 5] has been saying my full name really loudly in public like, “Halle Berry, can you pass me the ketchup?” It’s just so embarrassing! [laughs] He knows it gets a reaction from people, but he can’t quite figure out why.

The only thing I want at the end of the day is for my children to say, “You weren’t perfect, you didn’t do everything right, but you were a good mom.” I spent almost 10 years being in mom mode. Now that my youngest is starting kindergarten, I feel like I can get back into my life, and that’s important. I want to keep challenging myself and proving that I can still follow my passions, take risks, and take on characters who make me feel alive. But I prove that to myself, not to anyone else. I think that’s what keeps us young. It keeps me connected to my children because I’m alive in the world. One day they’re going to grow up, and I don’t want to be the mom who’s crying because her kids left. I want to be the mom who says, “Yes, girl, go fly. Go do you, do your life.”

RELATED: Halle Berry Reveals the One Workout That’s Kept Her Fit For 10 Years

Right now I’m training for a film called Bruised, where I play this disgraced MMA fighter who has to make her way back to the top for the sake of her son. It’s also my  directorial début. My second act. I’ve had so many movies that didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. You realize that as the dancing bear, you have zero power. But no matter how this movie turns out, good or bad, I dared to take the risk to do it. That’s what matters.

How I'd describe myself:
In 2000: Strong, Curious, Loving
Today: I’m still very strong, always curious, and I have a lot of love to give.

Photographed by Paul McLean on May 28 in Los Angeles. Styling: Lindsay Flores. Hair: Sara Seward. Makeup: Jorge Monroy. Location: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Advertisement