In 2002, Halle Berry made Academy Awards history by becoming the first black woman to win a best actress award for her role in Monster’s Ball. A year later, she made the dubious decision to follow up that performance with the title role in Catwoman—a potentially career-ending choice for the actress. But as she told the audience at this week’s Matrix Awards in New York City, she has no regrets. As Glamour reports:
Everybody around me said, “Girl, don’t do it. It’s going to be the death of you. It’s going to end your career.” But guess what I did? I followed my intuition and I did a movie called Catwoman and it bombed miserably. ... While it failed to most people, it wasn’t a failure for me because I met so many interesting people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, I learned two forms of martial arts and I learned [what] not to do.
I mean, I guess learning martial arts is pretty cool, but I’m pretty sure the real bright side to making a box-office bomb was making, in her words, “a shitload of money that changed my life.”
But lest we think that Berry doth protest too much, she turned it into a teachable moment about intuition, how we measure success and the danger of being attached to specific outcomes, telling the crowd:
[F]ollowing your intuition doesn’t always mean you’re going to be successful or win the prize, but it means you’re always going to learn the exact lesson or get the exact accolades or the exact check that you’re supposed to get for yourself. Never compare that to anyone else.
I’ll remember that the next time I’m envious that Halle Berry still gets to look like the 31-year-old version of herself at age 51.