“I came from the world of beauty pageants and modeling and right away when people heard that I got discounted as an actor,”
“Spike Lee wanted me to read for the part of his wife and I read that part fine enough, but then I said to Spike ‘You know I really am eyeing this crack ho role, can you please let me audition for that?’ And he said, ‘no, no I don’t see you as the crack ho,'”
She explained, but noted that she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Instead, Berry went into the bathroom and washed off all her makeup, and went back out to take on the crack ho.
“So, he let me do that and I came back out and I got to read the crack ho, and I got the part of the of the crack ho. And it was an amazing way to start my career, playing a crack ho be directed by Spike Lee. It was major for me.”
“It was intentional to not play the gorgeous girl,”I came from the world of beauty pageants and modeling and right away when people heard that I got discounted as an actor. So, I had the job of trying to eliminate that part of my persona, and Spike gave me a chance to do that. And I took on roles early on that really didn’t rely on my physical self at all and that was a good way to sort of get some credibility within my industry.”
She also revealed the same situation happened with Monsters Ball ,a movie which eventually earned her the Oscar for Best Actress.She said
“With Monsters Ball, Lee Daniels didn’t want to see me read. He was actually disgusted by the thought. He thought there’s no way and my argument to him was, just because someone looks a certain way doesn’t mean that they are spared adversity. Adversity does not discriminate. I thought, ‘My looks haven’t spared me one hardship or one hurt moment or one painful situation. So please, you know, give me a shot at this.’ I said, ‘I often think it’s more interesting when you see someone that looks a certain way struggle in ways that you wouldn’t think they would be struggling with.’ He ultimately gave me a chance and that sort of changed the course of my career in so many ways.”