I don’t know any trick for straightening.” But then, Berry never much needed tricks to gain notice.After graduation, a boyfriend submitted her photo to a state beauty pageant.
Especially as I started to grow and go through all kinds of trials. “The hardest part,” she says, “is trying to convince people, ‘Hey, I’m just like you. People will try to find something to add controversy to everything that I do.
I got that wrong, but next time I’ll get it right.’ ” She says she tries to avoid too much self-criticism. I’ve come to terms with that.” Motherhood, though, has added a new dimension to her sense of self.
“Probably the most unnerving part of being a mother is I know India watches everything I do, everything I say,” notes Berry.
“Even though I didn’t squeeze her from my body, this little person loves me unconditionally.” As for future kids, she says simply, “I hope so.” Three-time costar Hugh Jackman lauds Berry’s generosity toward her family—and his.
We’re grateful that we’re dealing with some heavy issues early, and hopefully we’ll get them behind us and move on.” Adds Benét, who got to know Berry after one of his concerts in 1997 and wed her in a beachside ceremony in Santa Barbara, Calif., before just two friends: “I’m a much better person because of her love.” Berry also praises the benefits of counseling. Going to therapy and working out our problems is a must.” Another marital imperative: a regular “date night.” “It can be at a restaurant, it can be in the bathtub, it can be by the pool, in the Jacuzzi,” Berry says. It’s just about connecting.” Connecting has been an ongoing theme in Berry’s relationships, going back to her difficult childhood in and around Cleveland.
The younger daughter of Judith, 63, a retired nurse who is white, and Jerome, an African-American hospital attendant who died in January, Berry and her sister Heidi were called “zebra” and “Oreo” by neighborhood kids.
“My mom always said, ‘Beauty is what you do.’ ” One thing she wasn’t able to do was reconcile with her father—who she says abused her mother—before his death.
(He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.) Long estranged from him, she spent years blaming her father’s abuse and absence for her own problems with men.
Slipping into a tight bodysuit as mutant weather girl Storm in , the new sequel to the ’00 megahit, she even manages to make a white wig look sexy.
(“It’s bad enough I’ve got to wear white hair with my dark skin,” she says. I welcomed the softening change.”) Now is definitely prime time for Halle.
Berry, 36, a former catalog model and Miss USA first runner-up (Note to judges: Oops!