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Encore Presentation: Interviews With Halle Berry, Pierce Brosnan

Aired November 16, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Halle Berry and Pierce Brosnan. Rare in-depth interviews with two of Hollywood's sexiest stars.
Pierce Brosnan, dashing on and off screen, has finally found new love after heartbreaking tragedy.

And the stunningly beautiful Halle Berry will talk about how she made Hollywood history and about the ups and downs along the way. It's all next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

We play things close. Mr. Brosnan has just arrived at the studio, a flight from New York, a harrowing trip.

PIERCE BROSNAN, ACTOR: We got here. We got here.

KING: Bond would have had a special apparatus to bring in from the airport.

BROSNAN: I think he would have just parachuted in or something like that.

KING: Pierce Brosnan appears in -- as 007 again in the new James Bond film "Die Another Day." It opens nationwide November 22. He also appears in another film I'll ask him about in awhile, brilliant film, "Evelyn," which opens December 13, which he also produced?.

Why do you do bond? Other than the money and the -- I mean, why do it when others have done it? Why do you like that?

BROSNAN: Well, this is -- it seems to be my destiny to play this role because after Remmington Steele, they offered me the part and I said, Yes, but a little clause in the contract wouldn't let me out. Then lo and behold, you know, many years late it came around again it. And it seemed like a good idea the first time and like an even better idea the second time.

KING: Is it fun -- are you having as much fun as the audience is?

Is it fun doing it or difficult?

BROSNAN; No, it's difficult. You know, I mean, it's just -- it's hard work. At the end of the day you're looking at a six month, seven month shoot, you're on page one, and right through the script, you're there every day. But I love doing it. No, this -- selling them is the hard part, going out there, the repetition and the questions of why you do it, how you do it. But to do them is a kick in the pants.

KING: Have you been injured?

BROSNAN: Yeah, I've had my face sliced open one day. Stunt man went one way and I went the same way and had a few stitches. I did my knee in on the last one.

KING: From an acting standpoint, what kind of acting is it, as opposed to, say, "Evelyn," where you're playing this dramatic role where this father who's going to lose his children to an orphanage? An incredible movie, by the way. And I love both movies, but 'Die Another Day" is a terrific Bond.

BROSNAN: Thank you.

KING: What's the acting difference?

BROSNAN: Well, the acting difference, I suppose, is that many men have played it before you. There's a certain style to this character, which kind of has its restrictions. And playing that fine line between trying to get the drama of it and trying to get the gravitas of the character mixed in with a kind of light touch as well.

This really is trying to get a sense of ownership because when I came to do "Goldeneye", there was -- it was pretty daunting, very terrifying.

KING: A lot of pressure.

BROSNAN: A lot of pressure, a long way to fall. But of course I had nothing to lose. And of course that goes on and the picture does well and the next one does well. And so you want it to be great. You want it to be as good as the last three. So there's always the pressure there. And that's part of the buzz, too.

KING: But when you're playing a father with three children in a drama like "Evelyn," people will see a Brosnan they have not seen. Would you agree?

BROSNAN: Oh, definitely. I haven't played these kind of notes, I haven't played this character in a long time. This goes back to work probably I did when I was in my 20s, in the sense it's emotional work and it's...

KING: Very.

BROSNAN: ...You know, I've kind of, not skimmed on the surface, but I came into this town 20 years ago and I was very lucky in getting "Remmington Steele" and kind of worked on that.

KING: So you've always been the good looking guy who plays dashing people?

BROSNAN: There's a certain typecasting there. But this is about a common and that's kind of closer to who I am than Remington Steele or James Bonds. You know, I'm Irish. I'm a father.

KING: Do you sing?

BROSNAN: No, this is the first time I've every got up there.

KING: That was fun.

BROSNAN: It was fun actually. I have this great sense of achievement with that. I mean, Bruce Beresford, who directed the picture, he said, Look you just have to be mildly attractive. So I was mildly attractive.

KING: Well, it's more a labor of love, then "Evelyn," right? I mean, where you're also a producer of it.

BROSNAN: Yes. I mean, after "Goldeneye" was a good success and I didn't embarrass myself, I set up a company called "Irish Dreamtime" with a partner of mine, Bo St. Clair (ph) and we decided to make films.

I love films. I love working. And I've been very fortunate as an actor to stay employed over my career.

Anyway, get my own material, find my own projects and "Evelyn" is one of them.

KING: And misfortunes in life as well. You've had some.

BROSNAN: I've had a few...

KING: Rough scenes (ph) in your life, rough scenes (ph) growing up, right?

BROSNAN: Well, yes, when you read about it, looks pretty kind of grim but actually there was a certain joy to it all as well.

KING: You call it a good childhood?

BROSNAN: It's the only childhood I know, so, you know -- but I came from a fractured home. The old man, Tom, he kind of left when I was an infant. And my mother did the right thing. Courageously, went to England to be a nurse as young women did in the '50s.

So there was a certain sense of, I suppose, aloneness to it. But there was also a great time of imagination and dreaming. And so there's been three chapters, the Irish childhood, the adolescence in London, and then as a fellow 26 coming to America.

KING: And the grief of losing -- we talked about this the last time you were with us, when you lost your wife.

By the way, is there a good way to deal with grief? Is there a way you can advise people how to deal with loss?

BROSNAN: Dealing with death is there forever, really, you know, because we all have to face it. KING: It's always there.

BROSNAN: Of course it is because they're missed. It's final. It's over, and especially when you have children like I do. I have two stepchildren and a son from that family and that time. And, you know, you check in with them.

But you have to -- you have to move on. You have to embrace life again. I don't know. I had faith, I suppose. I'm Catholic. I was brought up believing in Jesus and God and prayer and that stays with you, you know, somewhat.

KING: You don't get mad at him?

BROSNAN: Oh, you get mad with him, absolutely. I have, you know..

KING: Arguments with God?

BROSNAN: Arguments with God starring...

KING: But I mean...

BROSNAN: No, but there's a certain faith there that I suppose that's carried me through.

KING: Because she was a heck of a lady.

BROSNAN: She was a great woman. She was a really fantastic person to meet at that time in my life. And, you know, I've been blessed now with meeting...

KING: Second chance?

BROSNAN; Yes. I mean, talk about luck of the Irish. I have this beautiful woman, Keely, who we've been together now almost nine years. And we have two sons. And there's great happiness. And at this time, there's a -- you know, between work and relationship and family it's good.

KING: Life is good for a good guy. And what a talent. And wait until you see -- I mean, "Die Another Day" is a terrific Bond. Some wild scenes.

How did you do -- we'll ask about the ice place in a minute. And "Evelyn," a picture he produced and stars in, could get him an Academy Award nomination. I kid you not.

We'll be right back.


BROSNAN: Where's my daughter?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Do you have an appointment? BROSNAN: I don't need an appointment to see my own daughter. Who are you?


BROSNAN: Well, you know -- if you ever lay a finger on my daughter again, I will tear you limb from limb.

Now, where is she?


KING: Very dramatic scene from a terrific movie, "Evelyn" which opens December 13. The little girl who plays Evelyn -- where did you find her?

BROSNAN: Sophie -- Sophie Vavasseur. A great name, and a great little actress.

KING: Did you read a bunch of kids, and she won?

BROSNAN: Well, we found her in Dublin, and I wasn't there for that part of the film, the casting. I had to stay here in Los Angeles. But she's a great little actress, she's done a bit of TV and some stage work, and they sent me the tape one night, I remember at home. I was having dinner with the family, and I put it on. There was about 14 girls on the tape, and I couldn't get the darn sound on the TV to work, but it didn't really matter. This girl was there and she just popped up. As I say, there was no audio, and you could just see the presence of character and soul.

KING: Is it hard working with a child?

BROSNAN: I didn't find it, no. No. For me, I just loved this text, so it was it wasn't -- you know, it's about my character, Desmond, but it's also so much about her life, so there was no kind of -- there was no ego involved about working with children. If the child is brilliant and great and takes it all, then so be it.

KING: Because they do take scenes, by their nature. We like children.

BROSNAN: Oh, sure, there is nothing you can do about that. And so it should be. But Bruce Beresford was fantastic. He's just very masterful with actors, and it was a great ensemble cast.

KING: I can't recommend it highly enough.

And, this is a terrific "Bond." It's the 20th "Bond." This is your fourth, right?

BROSNAN: Fourth.

KING: Are they going to do more? Is this forever?

BROSNAN: Not for me, it's not. But they've invited me back, yes.

KING: Ah-ha.

BROSNAN: They did, before I set sail on this junket here to go sell the movie and stuff like that. Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, who I have known for many years now. They...

KING: Saw them yesterday.

BROSNAN: They...

KING: They have invited you back?

BROSNAN: They said, Would you like to come back, and I accepted the invitation.

KING: So you will do "Bond" 21?

BROSNAN: It looks that way.

KING: When you accept it, do you have script approval?

BROSNAN: They send me the script. I mean, on "Die Another Day" they sent it to me at the end of last summer there, and they asked for my input. It was in pretty good shape, and we had Lee Tamahori and myself, we talked about what I wanted to do, and what he wanted to do, and trying to make this one as realistic as possible, so it has some bite to it.

KING: It has that.

BROSNAN: You know, I think he has done that. He was a great man to work with, you know.

KING: There is one every two years, I guess, that's 20 in 40 years, right?

BROSNAN: Yes, this one has been a three-year gap. The others have just been every 18 months.

KING: Why do you think -- it will be only your opinion -- we like them so much?

BROSNAN: They're just great entertainment value. There is a certain sentimental factor in there now that's generational, but this is a man that the guys want to be like, the women want to be with. He gets away with murder. He gets the girl. He gets to do all the great things in life.

KING: And you know he's going to live.

BROSNAN: And live. And live.

KING: That's what we all want.

BROSNAN: That's what we'd all like to do, yes. I mean, timelessness.

KING: Do you ever wonder what Bond is like off the job? Is he ever off the job?

BROSNAN: No, he's always on the job. I'm afraid Mr. Bond is.

KING: He is going right into the role, right, he's never off the job, is he? Does he have a sister, does he have an aunt, does he have a niece he takes care of?

BROSNAN: No, he's an orphan. I think he is. The mother and father died. So, Fleming wrote -- this was close to his own heart, this character.

KING: Wrote it in Jamaica.

BROSNAN: Wrote it in Golden Eye, yes. I don't know, it's very hard to kind of say in one sentence why this character has lived so long.

KING: It is amazing, though.

BROSNAN: Well, it has something to do with the family, too, I think.

KING: There is no other character in the film like -- going back to Andy Hardy, I guess, with Mickey Rooney, a character that comes back.

BROSNAN: And people want to be like it -- they parody the character, they emulate the character, people try to rip it off, and steal it but ultimately the title James Bond and there is the Monty Norman...

KING: Did he used to smoke?

BROSNAN: He used to smoke.

KING: Doesn't smoke anymore.

BROSNAN: He doesn't smoke. No -- I probably could smoke, if I wanted to, but I think it would be a pretty uncool thing to do in this day and age, I think a little foolish, and because again, these were written for adults, and they were made for adults. But, you know, there are 12-year-olds seeing these pictures now, and they have such entertainment value for that young generation. So -- a cigar maybe.

KING: What was it like to work with the lady who is going to be with us at the bottom of the hour, Ms. Berry?

BROSNAN: Halle and I have become very good friends. She is somebody who I got on with greatly, very fond of her. She is a woman who is at the top of her game, and she is very generous, and a good heart.

KING: Generous as an actress? BROSNAN: Generous as an actress, and generous with who she is, and what she's about as a woman. So she was great fun to work with.

KING: When you -- sexual scenes, are they difficult? Someone was telling me and I missed it, you did the movie with one of the wildest sexual scenes of all time, the remake of the old Steve McQueen movie.

BROSNAN: Oh yes, "The Thomas Crown Affair."

KING: "Thomas Crown Affair," and my friend was telling me you had a sexual scene in that that was over the top.

BROSNAN: Well, that's because it was left to the imagination. Once you kind of tap into those sexual fantasies and you portray them well, and you put them on camera in a way is that allows the audience to imagine the next move, then you have some kind of -- then you have something going there as opposed to just, you know...

KING: But Martilo Macedone (ph) told me once they are the worst thing for the actors to do. You never get turned on.

BROSNAN: No, you can't because you are so bloody nervous. You're waiting, it is the last thing that is going to happen. You have 60 people there, you have the camera right in your face, and you have...

KING: Get aroused.

BROSNAN: Get aroused. They're not the easiest thing to do. But someone like Halle Berry it makes it...

KING: I'll bet.

BROSNAN: Makes it plain sailing.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Pierce Brosnan, and then Halle Berry will join us and -- I said Halle Berry.

BROSNAN: Halle Berry.

KING: Halle Berry. Tom Brokaw tomorrow night. We'll be right back.


BROSNAN: Mojito (ph).

HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS: James. You for the penguins this time, or for the view again?

BROSNAN: Right now I'm only interested in endangered species.

BERRY: Oh, well, does that include me?

BROSNAN: Depends on what you're up to this time. BERRY: So I left you in a explosive situation. You're a big boy. I figured you could handle yourself.

BROSNAN: No wonder your relationships don't last.

BERRY: I'm a girl that just doesn't like to get tied down.




BROSNAN: A boat. Of course. Yes, a boat. Sailing on a tranquil sea. Days from civilization. You arise, go topside in the salt and fresh air. Settle down to read your newspaper in the morning sunshine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you get it?

BROSNAN: Get what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: your days from civilization. How do you get a newspaper?

BROSNAN: You can read a book, can't you?


KING: Ah, the young -- do you laugh when you see young Pierce?

BROSNAN: Oh, sure. A lot of hair. A lot of hair.

KING: You've still got a lot of hair.

BROSNAN: Yeah, thank God.

KING: Are you claustrophobic?


KING: All your life?

BROSNAN: To the best of my knowledge. Why?

KING: Because someone told me you were and I was wondering how you deal with it because some have been able to cure it.

BROSNAN: Well I've done a bit of yoga throughout the years and learning some breathing exercises, but it can catch up with you at times.

KING: What situation is the most difficult?

BROSNAN: Sitting in premieres. Watching your own work.

KING: Airplanes, you handle that okay?

BROSNAN: Airplanes are OK.

KING: Elevators?

BROSNAN: Elevators can be a bit dodgy. And just -- yes, elevators are not good.

KING: Have you ever walked up long flights of stairs?

BROSNAN: Yes, I did. Yes. I was in Toronto at the Toronto Film Festival there recently and with the film "Evelyn" and I was on the 31st Floor and the alarms went off and I just thought, I'm getting out of here, so I walked down.

KING: Yes. I understand. Let's talk a call for Pierce Brosnan.

West Harbor, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I've always admired the way you stood by Cassandra, adopted her children, put family first and so on.

I wondered if any of your children are interested in theater and do you go back to Ireland with them?

BROSNAN: I have -- my son who is 19 years of age, Sean, he's just started at a drama academy in London. So he wants to be an actor. What can I do? I think he has the talent. I think he has the passion and I think he's seen dad do it over the years. And the film that's going to come out this Christmas, "Evelyn," December 13, I made that in Ireland at the end of last year, so there you go.

KING: So you do get back.

Covina, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes, go ahead.

CALLER: Hi, this is Allison from Baltimore and I would love to talk to Pierce.

BROSNAN: I'm here.

KING: They told me it was Covina, but go ahead Baltimore.

CALLER: Hi, I wanted to tell you that I'm a huge fan and I wanted to ask you what your favorite Bond movie is.

BROSNAN: "Goldfinger." Sentimental reasons. It was the first film that I saw when I left Ireland in 1964. "From Russia with Love" is another one and there's also "For Your Eyes Only," which has sentimental value.

KING: Covina (ph) now, California, hello. Hello? Hello? Are you there, Covina?

CALLER: How did you like playing on that movie with Robin Williams when he played Mrs. Doubtfire?

KING: Oh, yes.

BROSNAN: Well, I'm a great...

KING: Mrs. Doubtfire.

BROSNAN: of Robin Williams and the film came at a great time in my life, which, you know I was trying to do more films and I said to my agent, Look, just get me supporting roles. Forget about leading man. Just get me good character work and along came this glorious film with this great man, Robin Williams.

So, you know, when you're working with Robin, you just give him space and stay on your toes and keep your ears open.

KING: And he makes you laugh.

BROSNAN: And he makes you laugh.

KING: A couple other things about "Die Another Day." The ice -- whole ice setup. What was that? It wasn't ice.

BROSNAN: No, that was Peter Lamont (ph).

KING: What I'm looking at is ice. What is it?

BROSNAN: It's plastic. I'm not sure what it is but it was massive and it's models and it's the great Peter Lamont (ph), who has made so many of these Bond movies.

KING: Yes, but this one is over the top.

BROSNAN: Well, like you were saying, you know, where do we do the Cuba scene? Cuba was actually in Kadiz (ph) and he made this...

KING: Look just like Cuba.

BROSNAN: ...great city look like Cuba.

KING: And the car.

BROSNAN: The Astin.

KING: The invisible car.

BROSNAN: The vanquish. It's a cool car. I think -- well, it's been some time, I think. People were disappointed there -- the Bond aficianados that -- it wasn't in the last three films. But the Astin Martin is back and that's a character unto itself, really, and it's got all the gadgets and the gizmos that -- a lot of this is about homages to past Bonds in... KING: More gizmos than any.

BROSNAN: ... in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways. But that's the fun of this picture.

KING: But as much as you're invited with this, you're signed up to do another one, "Evelyn" has got to be.

BROSNAN: "Evelyn" I'm very proud of because it's taken six years. It's our third film. My company, Irish Dreamtime. It's -- I'm just proud of the picture because...

KING: You have every right to be.

BROSNAN: ... it has heart and it's a good night at the pictures.

KING: Thank you, Pierce.

BROSNAN: All right.

KING: Always good seeing you.

BROSNAN: Thank you very much indeed.

KING: Pierce Brosnan. He's 007. He's back in the new James Bond film, "Die Another Day." It opens nationwide on November 22.

His costar is Halle Berry, the Academy Award winner this year. And she's next. Don't go away.



BROSNAN: Name's Bond. James Bond.

Bond, James Bond.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you're a British spy. Do you have a name?

BROSNAN: Name's Bond.



KING: We now welcome the co-star of the newest James Bond "Die Another Day," which will open, as we said, November 22. Halle Berry. She plays Jinx. She's currently filming "X-Men 2," we'll ask her about that. In March of this year she won Best Actress Oscar for her role in "Monster's Ball," and she's terrific in "Die Another Day."

I was just telling Halle the first time I met her was at a baseball park in Atlanta when her then-husband David Justice introduced us. I said, "David, you're a pretty lucky guy." He said thought he was pretty lucky too. And now you remember, right?

BERRY: I do remember. I'm surprised you remember, though.

KING: They're making a movie -- baseball wives, though. That would be interesting.

BERRY: Something I don't want to do, thank you very much.

KING: That's a different life, isn't it?

BERRY: That's a whole different life.

KING: Not a good life, I'm told.

BERRY: It wasn't the life for me. You know what I mean? To some people it's a great life. It wasn't something that I found a lot of happiness with. So no.

KING: All right. How did you find Jinx or Jinx find you?

BERRY: Jinx found me, actually. I got a call from Barbara Broccoli and MGM and they wanted to make an offer. So I got the script. And I was excited initially. I loved Bond movies and I'd even loved the women of Bond movies and I thought, Let me read it.

KING: So you were a fan?

BERRY: Yes. I love Bond. So when I got the script, I was delighted to see that it was a Bond girl that had a lot of character. She had a little toughness to her, a little bit of an edge that I would hope to, you know, be able to bring to the screen as a Bond woman. It was already there.

KING: And she is an agent on her own. This entrance scene of you in the bathing suit makes quite an impression on people. Does it -- it's kind of weird. When you're really beautiful -- and you know you're beautiful. We're not going to argue. You know you're beautiful. Is that ever a hindrance? By that I mean do you think they don't -- until "Monster's Ball," they don't look past the pretty?

BERRY: I think sometimes it's hard for people to see past the physical. But honestly I could think of worst problems to have. I think it's harder being a black woman in this industry than looking the way I do. Yes, I think it's harder being a black woman than being considered beautiful.

KING: Hasn't that changed significantly, though or is significant too strong a word?

BERRY: I think significant is -- that's appropriate. It has changed significantly. But we still have a long way to go. My struggle today even winning an Oscar was very much like the struggle of Dorothy Dandridge 50 years ago really.

KING: So even with an Oscar, the white is going to get chosen over... BERRY: I don't know if the white woman would get chosen over but I know even with Oscar in hand, sure my life has changed and I'm getting a few more opportunities. But I still I have to wake up every day and figure out, OK, what's going to be my next gig? What choice am I going to make?

And the reality is, I think, every actress does. You know this is a tough industry that we're in. And if you just sit around you think that you're going to get calls with all these great scripts and your life is going to change with any award, then you're sadly mistaken. That gives you certain power. Certain people will now take your call but you have to have the ideas, you still have to have the drive to make things happen for yourself.

KING: Were you surprised you won it?

BERRY: Very. Very.

KING: When you're nominated for something like that, do you start thinking -- did you see the other four actresses in their films?

BERRY: Yes, absolutely.

KING: You knew the work of your competitor?

BERRY: Well.

KING: So you start saying to yourself -- what do you start saying to yourself?

BERRY: Well I thought there's no way it will happen for me. It's my first time ever being a nominate, some other women had been there before. Their performances were just exquisite and I thought there's no way this will happen for me. I'll hopefully have other chances.

KING: Did you know when you were making "Monster's Ball" it would be special?

BERRY: I knew that it was a special film, absolutely. From the moment I read the script I thought I've got to play this. And never thinking that it would bring awards, I really thought what it would do would bring credibility to my body of work. I thought if I can be a part of this film, have a good piece of tape to show directors...

KING: A resume...

BERRY: Yes, that's how I saw it really.

KING: Did you take less money to do it?

BERRY: Absolutely. I took a lot less money to do it. It wasn't about the money. It was about the work, the woman and this great piece of work that I thought I could have to show.

KING: It had a frantic sex scene. And we asked Pierce Brosnan about it and I told him that Martiello Marctioni (ph) told me once that the least turned on you are is doing a sex scene. What was it like?

BERRY: With Pierce or Billy Bob?

KING: With Billy Bob.

BERRY: That scene was sort of -- it was pretty raw. It was out there. And our director, Mark Forster, you know, we talked about this scene a lot and it was one of the last scenes that we shot. And by that time, Billy Bob Thornton and I, we had known each other about 21 days so we felt like we had a little bit connection.

KING: But there's 63 people standing around, right?

BERRY: Oh yes, there are people there.

KING: You have to position your movements to fit the camera.

BERRY: We didn't. That was the beauty of that scene in "Monster's Ball." Mark Forster said, You just go for it and I will catch it, I promise you. So we had no staging in our mind. I was able to block out that there was 63 people there. To go to that place, you have to block out that there are 63 people there. So I totally blocked it out. I didn't care which way, what boob was going. I just...

KING: So you were acting or not acting?

BERRY: No, we were acting. We were acting. But there had to be a level of rawness. There had to be a real organicness to the scene. So had we rehearsed it or were we thinking too much about where the camera was or thinking of a script, then I think we would have lost that.

KING: Do you adapt to physicallity well, as in the Bond things? You have to do a lot of twisting and turning and twirl up and down. Did you do most of that yourself?

BERRY: Yes, I did. I was a gymnast as a young girl. So that's the fun part for me. I think I adapted very well.

KING: Is doing this kind of movie fun -- I asked Pierce, is it a different kind of acting?

BERRY: Oh, sure, yes, because a lot of it revolves around the special effects, you know. And so we have to sometimes make the impossible words work, all these double entendres which are so great but sometimes, coming from a real true place, it's really hard to make them work sometimes. So that was a challenge for me.

KING: But you're giving it your all. It's the same as "Monster's Ball," you're not lessening.

BERRY: Oh, no. Still trying to find the same reality in the character, still trying to find her truth. It's just sometimes a little tougher because you have all the one liners that people love so much about the Bond movies.

KING: It is to be, so I'll ask about it? What was it like having a part of your personality life on the front page, if not the front page, front page local.

BERRY: What part of my personal life?

KING: The part when you had a car accident.

BERRY: Very painful, painful. That had never happened to me before so it was very -- it was scary and very painful.

KING: You handled it with an apology?


KING: Kind of the best route to take, right?

BERRY: Absolutely. And I did feel a lot of remorse. I felt really angry that I was there and that I did that and didn't know why I did that, because I would never do that.

KING: Drive away from the scene?

BERRY: I would never. And I felt angry that I couldn't explain why I did that because I didn't remember.

KING: In retrospect, do you know now why you did it?

BERRY: No, I still don't know why, and I think I'm going to have to live with that. That I had a head injury that allowed me to do something I done a thousand plus times and that's what I have to accept.

KING: But, it seems you've been able to wildly overcome it.

BERRY: Well I think part of overcoming it is taking responsibility for it which is why I felt really empowered to saying I'm going to plead no contest, take responsibility, I obviously drove off, never said I didn't. I just know I didn't do it purposely.

KING: Assuming Winona Ryder -- just assuming because she has never said anything, that she did do this, should she take the tact you took? Would you advise that? Say, I did it, I've got a problem, I don't know why I did it. That kind of thing.

BERRY: I would. I would advise anybody to walk in the truth, absolutely.

KING: Do you think it will affect her career?

BERRY: That'll be depending on Winona, what she does with this. I took my situation and I was empowered by it because I lived through it.

KING: Really? You're better for it? BERRY: I'm much better for it. It's kind of -- it might not make sense to the average person but for me I got so empowered because that experience allowed me to release the concern for what people thought about me.

I used to think people probably thought I did something terrible or I always wanted people to like me. I was like that since a child. And through that car accident when I had to be quiet for six, seven, eight months and couldn't defend myself, I couldn't explain, I had to let the rumors swirl, I read the headlines and I heard the jokes.

And as painful as all of that was, in those moments in the quiet of my mind, I had to make the decision to not worry about what people thought but I had to worry about what I thought about me and I had to look at myself in the mirror and say, Halle, you know what you did and what you didn't do. That's all matters.

KING: That's called growth.

BERRY: Growth.

KING: How old are you?

BERRY: Thirty-six.

KING: I've got ties older than you.

We'll be back with more of Halle Berry. She stars in "Die Another Day." It opens November 22. Don't go away.


BERRY: I was really good. I was good. I was really good. I didn't want him to be fat like that. I do not want my baby to be fat like that because I know a black man in America, you can't be like that. I try to (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You can't be like that in America and a black man.




BERRY: You think I've never been to the South? I can't stay in Miami Beach, I can't use the front entrance, and I can't speak to the patrons, right? This isn't a tan, Earl. I'm a negro, a colored girl. You did happen to notice that, didn't you?



KING: What was it like playing Dorothy Dandridge? Was she a heroine to you? BERRY: Absolutely. One of my earliest role models, a woman whose life and whose career I have always felt a special connection to. Many of my struggles were her struggles, sort of like she passed the baton to me. I felt that so many times, and especially through living her life that all felt true and real for me.

KING: What, Halle -- no one could be higher than you are now, even though you say there are still blocks.


KING: What was the lowest point ever?

BERRY: Ever -- in my life, or in career -- or this career?

KING: Either one. Life.

BERRY: Life. Probably when I was ten, and my father, who had left us, came back to live with us for a year. That was probably one of the worst years of my life.

KING: A bad year?

BERRY: A -- the worst year of my life, yes. And probably because I loved him so much, I think, on some level, and desperately wanted a father, but having him come back into our home, and being very violent and being an alcoholic, and sort of abusing my mother and my sister, but never me, I think I grew up with a lot of guilt.

KING: Why not you?

BERRY: Why not me, yes. And that -- it was the worst -- the worst year.

KING: Professionally, were you ever down?

BERRY: Oh, Larry, come on.

KING: Seems like you've had a -- it seems like you are an overnight hit. What was the biggest setback to you?

BERRY: Many personal setbacks. Some of them have been in the tabloids, and in the news, and on the paper. Those are no secret.

In the industry, I think it's been a setback to want to be a part of the industry in such a way, and feel like I've been working on my craft and been growing, but still being denied, just because of the color of my skin. That's been a big struggle for the last 12 years.

It's been my -- the struggle of my every day, trying to figure out how can I fit into an industry that really doesn't have a place for someone like me.

KING: The Caucasian can only imagine what that's right, right...

BERRY: Yes. KING: ... and can try to walk in that shoes. But can -- you're very verbal, and you are very expressive. What is it like, because you know when people -- when you come in the door, the first thing people see -- and as beautiful as you are -- is black, right? Are you aware of that?

BERRY: I'm not always aware of that, because even though I am black, I grew up with a white mother, so I'm very comfortable in my skin, and I'm comfortable around white people, and black people, but I become aware of it when other people become aware of it, and when they mention it, or when they say, You're the most beautiful black woman I've ever seen, then I think Oh, right, I'm black. Right.

It's not always a thought in my mind, but I realize it is a thought, a conscious thought for other people.

KING: Selectivity, is that one of the hardest parts of acting, what you choose and what you turn down?

BERRY: Yes, it is, and as an actor we would like to be really selective and only do the great parts. But the other side of that coin is is it's still our job. It's how we make a living. People have come up to me sometimes and they say why did you do "B*A*P*s," why the heck would you do a movie like that?

And I thought, well, for one, I get that you didn't like it, but the other part of that side is that it's my job, and I have house note, I have a mortgage, I have a family, just like you do, and sometimes you take work because it is a job. I happen to love that movie, and I loved the challenge of trying something different, but people don't always understand why you make choices as an artist. Sometimes it's just simply to grow, to try something new, to take a risk. It doesn't work every time, but I think that's how you do grow, and sometimes you grow when you fail.

KING: You're doing "X-Men," right? You like that? Obviously you like it, or you wouldn't have taken it.

BERRY: Yes, that's been another one of those big budget studio movies that -- like "Bond" has had a really significant place in my career, along with the "Monster's Ball" and the "Losing Isaiah"...

KING: Would you do another "Bond"?

BERRY: Would I do another "Bond?"

KING: They love Jinx, and Jinx is an agent, and they want to propel -- I can see the suits now.

BERRY: Have you heard this, Larry?

KING: They've already asked Pierce to do another one, and he has accepted. Would you think about Jinx coming back? Because Jinx is a character with a great name.

BERRY: She does have a great name. Yes, I would think about coming back.

KING: The tabloids -- how does it affect you when you're in them, which is weekly?

BERRY: I'm -- you know, I'm getting thicker skin as I get older. Like you said earlier, it comes with age. I'm really comfortable with who I am now, and not so much in need of the approval of other people like I used to be, and so I'm learning to look the other way, except when it involves my daughter. Then I get really vicious and angry.

KING: How old is she now?

BERRY: She's 10.

KING: What could they print bad about her?

BERRY: Well, it is not that they are printing things bad about her, but when they include her and her picture as big as the article, and they connect her to issues that she shouldn't be connected to -- it's not fair to her. She's just a child.

KING: Do her school friends bring it up to her?

BERRY: Yes, and that's really not fair to her, and I don't think these people that do this, they don't think that far in advance, and if they do, they obviously don't give a damn about it.

KING: Do you ever think about suing them?

BERRY: Yes, and I did sue one of them one time.

KING: And?

BERRY: And we settled out of court, they basically turned over the information, where they got the false information from, and we settled out of court.

KING: Your friends say, Hey, Halle, did you see the "Enquirer" today?

BERRY: Not friends, my friends would never. But people on the street do.

KING: Or look at you a certain way?


KING: Our guest is Halle Berry. She is Jinx in "Die Another Day" it opens November 22. It's a rip, roaring fun ride. And if she considers it, they ought to bring her back. Maybe "Bond" ought to step out, and it's just Jinx.

BERRY: Oh, no.

KING: Hey, Jinx. We'll be back with our remaining moments. Take a call or two for Halle Berry. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERRY: High domestic employment means jobs for African- Americans. World War II meant lots of jobs for black folks. That is what energized the community for the civil rights movement in the '50s and the '60s and a energized, hopeful community will not produce leaders, but more importantly, it will produce leaders they will respond to. Now, what do you think, senator?



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "The Rich Man's Wife")

BERRY: Where are you going? You made a wrong turn.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm not taking you to the police station. You don't know what you're doing. You're in terrible shape.

BERRY: I know exactly what I'm doing. And what I'm doing is what's right. And what's right is never touch Tony's money. And what's right is to make the man pay who killed him and what's right is for me to suffer the consequences for whatever I had to do with it.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We can go inside and discuss it there.

BERRY: There's nothing to discuss. Now, take me to the police!


BERRY: Stop the car! Get out. I'm driving.


KING: Did you have fun doing that?

BERRY: I did. When I saw that clip, I thought, Oh, no, not that. Yes, I did have fun doing that.

KING: Did you -- was it true that you once thought of taking your own life? Was that ever true?

BERRY: Yes. Yes. Sad, but true.

KING: What was the situation?

BERRY: Divorce. And being...

KING: You had never faced that before?

BERRY: Divorce, no. Well, in my family, my mother and my father.

KING: In other words, you had seen it. BERRY: Yes, but the heartbreak of that was devastating to me because I was a woman who grew up with that fantasy that was, you know, pushed down my throat since I was knee high to a bullfrog. You have to find your prince and he will take care of you and that will be happiness.

So, when that prince decided to go away my sense of self and my self worth was totally connected to him. So when he left, I felt like nothing, basically. And so I felt, you know, a lot...

KING: It's hard to believe you feeling like nothing.

But you did marry a prince. You married a major league ballplayer...


KING: Of high repute.


KING: Who is very good at what he does.

BERRY: Yes. And, I must say, and a really great guy, you know. A lot of the...

KING: You do feel that way?

BERRY: I really do. You know, in the heat of it when you're angry and mad you can say a lot of things, but truly he's a good guy. Just not the right guy for me.

KING: To defend, he's a gentle kind of guy. I mean, he appears very gentle, you know what I mean?


KING: I mean, he has -- he's low-keyed

BERRY: Yes. Yes.

KING: Very confident in himself.

BERRY: He's very confident, yes.

KING: But that really hurt you that bad?

BERRY: It did.

KING: What snapped you out of it?

BERRY: The thought of my mother when I was in that moment in -- sitting in the car. I was going to asphyxiate myself in a garage. When I was sitting there, really -- with all my heart, wanting to end my life, I thought of my mother and I thought, Wow. How unfair. I would break her heart. My heart's broken and I'm going to kill myself. I would break her heart. I would break her heart and I...

KING: Some one once said suicide is a selfish act.

BERRY: It is. And it's cowardly. It was harder for me to get out of that car and deal with my pan than to end it, you're right.

KING: New York City for Halle Berry, hello.

CALLER: Hi Halle, I work out and fitness is important to me and I was wondering what your diet and exercise regimen is like

BELLE: Wow. Well, I am a diabetic so my fitness...

KING: Type two?

BELLE: Yes, Type two. So my fitness regime is really important to me in, you know, controlling my diabetes. And I eat -- you know, I avoid sugar. I eat lots of, you know, chicken and fish and vegetables. Stay away from a lot of carbs.

KING: How much work out?

BERRY: I work out about three times a week. Sometimes four.

KING: Intense?

BERRY: One hour. I'm in and I'm out. I don't do a minute over one hour. That's all I do.

KING: Want to do a play?

BERRY: I would love to do a play. That's sort of my next -- people joke with me now. They come to my house and they see all the awards I've been able to somehow garner in the past three years and they say, They only thing that's missing, Halle, is a Tony.

So I'm thinking, Yeah, you're right. Maybe one day I'll...

KING: Now you can't make the same amount of money...


KING: But it sure would seem like a lot of fun.

BERRY: Yes, it would be a lot of fun. And everybody's knows, you know, theater is not about the money. It's about the love of the arts.

KING: Have you ever done it?

BERRY: Yes, in Chicago. Yes, I've done a couple of plays. A long time ago when I first started. And I haven't visited it since, but I would like to.

KING: And the thrill is you start at the start and begin at the -- and go to the end.

BERRY: Yes, with a live audience.

KING: And you hear and feel an audience.

BERRY: Yes. Yes.

KING: Acting is not easy, is it? Especially in a room?

BERRY: Yes. It's really not easy and I think so many people see good acting and they think, I can do that, until they get in the room and the camera is rolling and they have to do it.

KING: Can you say -- can you explain -- we only got a minute and a half -- why you like being someone else? Why you like being Jinx? Like you're not Jinx.


KING: You're not a secret agent.

BERRY: No. But, you know, through Jinx, Leticia (ph) through some of the other great characters that I've had a chance to play, it's really cathartic. You know, I get to take what's really happening in my life and channel that energy -- the pain, the happiness, the joy -- whatever the emotions are and I get to channel them sort of work through them, through other characters. And so at the end of a movie, I feel like if I haven't grown, if I haven't learned something else about myself as I'm discovering something about the character, then I really didn't do a good job.

KING: And we only have a minute. Home life is happy now?

BERRY: Yes, my home life is good.

KING: You got a good guy?

BERRY: I think so.

KING: Not sure?

BERRY: I'm sure.

KING: Halle?

BERRY: No, I am sure. We are like, you know, a lot of couples. We -- you know, marriage is hard. You know, Larry. Marriage is hard. But if you're really committed and you're in it for the long run, which we both are -- you know, we're the kind of people who will fight for it and try to make it better.

KING: Jinx, wish you the best.

BERRY: Thank you.

KING: Halle Berry, she's Jinx in the new James Bond film, "Die Another Day." It's a terrific, fun movie with more gadgetry and more action, and she is terrific. And when she comes out of the water, you come out of your seat.


KING: Halle Berry and, of course, earlier, Pierce Brosnan, two of Hollywood's hottest stars. You won't want to miss them together in the new Bond movie that's terrific.

Somebody else you don't want to miss is Regis. For the hour, tomorrow night. Good night.



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