Coronji Calhoun, who played Halle Berry and Sean Combs' son in Monster's Ball, has died. He was 31 years old.
EURWeb reports that Calhoun died Oct. 13 in Louisiana. They quote 4WWL, who spoke to Calhoun's mother Theresa Bailey, who said her son died of congestive heart failure and lung issues. A GoFundMe has been created to pay for his funeral since he did not have life insurance. The funeral is expected to take place in St. Charles Parish. His survivors include two young sons.
Berry talked about working with Calhoun in a 2001 video posted by EURWeb, in which she explains how tough it was to portray an abusive mother towards Calhoun.
"That scene was actually harder for me [than the iconic love scene between Berry and Billy Bob Thornton] because he's a real little boy with a real weight problem and he has real issues surrounding it himself. And he was not an actor. [Director Marc Forster] just plucked him out of obscurity in Louisiana, so he really didn't understand the process, or so I thought," she said. "I talked a lot with him and his mother and I explained and explained, so before every take, I would hug him and kiss him, and after every take, I'd hug him and kiss him."
She also talked about hearing of Calhoun's school life, including being taunted by other children because of his weight.
"[H]e said something really sad; in our very first meeting with all of us, his mom included, I said, 'You know, I'm going to be doing some very bad things to you, but you have to [understand] this is a movie. I don't mean a thing, and never confuse me with the character Letitia," she said. "And he said to me, 'Well, I don't care what you do to me, Halle Berry, because whatever you do to me won't be worse than what the kids at school do to me…He went on to tell us about the abuse he that he suffers from."
"You know, kids can be really cruel at that age, he was only 10, 11. That was hard. And what I've done since then is that I felt I had a responsibility to stay in his life, and I am," she continued. "I didn't want to do this to this poor kid and then drop him off and say, 'Thanks, buddy.' And I've really made it a point to stay in touch in him and really stay in his life and I hope we stay that way."