Halle Berry is no stranger to leading the charge when it comes to representation within the film industry.
For decades she has embodied roles that allow Black women to truly see themselves reflected on screens big and small and this time isn’t any different as she takes on the role as the NASA official Jocinda “Jo” Fowler in Lionsgate’s Moonfall.
“I think it’s always important for people like us to see ourselves reflected in this art form,” Berry said in a recent interview with Shadow and Act.
“As I was a little girl growing up, I didn’t always see myself reflected so I know the importance of what these kind of moments are in movies where little Black girls of color can dream and aspire to be and see themselves in films like this,” she explained. “I think it’s really, really, really important, even though it may seem little on the surface, but I think it’s a huge statement that is really necessary.”
Moonfall is a disaster movie that explores a world where the moon is headed to Earth, causing environmental disasters and ultimately causing the clock to tick as it counts down the end of humanity. Originally, Berry’s role as the head of NASA in the film was intended for a male character, but director Roland Emmerich knew that it would be equally important to give the role to a woman, naturally, Berry was the perfect choice.
Emmerich told us, “At one point I said, ‘We cannot have three guys flying around and we began to ask ourselves should the role of the woman be the astronaut?’”
“We decided that the best part was kind of a second command of NASA because there you could have a woman with really smart ideas and it could showcase how smart she is,” he added. “We sent it to Halle and she was immediately on board.”
With her own healthy love and admiration for the moon, Berry joined the Moonfall cast where she works to save the world alongside ex-astronaut Brian (Patrick Wilson) and a fringe-science guy (John Bradley). With art imitating life, the veteran actress continues the trek to what she describes as “surviving in a man’s world.”
“This is a breakfast conversation that I have day after day, you know, ‘how do we survive in this world,’” said Berry.
“I talk with my girlfriends about this a lot and the truth is, as long as we continue to be our authentic selves, refuse to take no for an answer or be relentless in our pursuit to achieve whatever goals we’re setting for ourselves, I think we will find a way and I think there’s been a lot of change with what women are allowed to do,” Berry explained.
Moonfall is in theaters now.
Watch the full interviews with Berry, Wilson, Emmerich and John Bradley below: