In the Vogue story, Jonathan Van Meter,who spent a few days with Berry describes his experience of her weekend place in Malibu. Designed seven years ago by Patrick Delanty a close friend; the house overlooks the blue surf.
The house, it is reported, is an extension of her personality. The walls are at places adorned by pictures of Nahla, her cats and her fifth grade teacher, who was a mother figure to her. There is a lot of modern art and sculpture, most of it sexual in nature. In her living room is a very tall statue by Curt Brill of a naked woman looking out to sea. “I love the naked female form,” she says. “I just feel like that’s the most empowered position you can be in. She is standing tall in all her nakedness, and she is just commanding the room. Everything revolves around her in the house. I love it.”Halle reveals her getting more and more comfortable with her sexuality and says that it comes with age. (Anybody listening?)
So, how did Halle find her leanings for the cause of domestic violence? It turns out that after her infamous car accident of 2000, in which she inexplicably left the scene, her sentence was, she says, “a $15,000 fine, three years’ probation, and 250 hours” of community service. “They gave me a list of charities that I could choose from. I searched my heart for what would be meaningful to me. Domestic violence is important to me because I grew up with it; my mother was a victim of domestic violence. And I saw the Jenesse Center, the oldest domestic-violence center in South L.A., and I thought, That’s where I want to go.” What she didn’t know was that she would wind up staying for nearly ten years. “Outside of being the mother of Nahla,” she says, “it’s the most meaningful thing that I do.”
The Jenesse Center provides, among other things, transitional housing—safe houses—for women and their children when they finally leave their abusive husbands or boyfriends.
As Halle puts it, “Because of my mother’s and my experience, I understand fundamentally what these women and kids are going through. And I think that’s why my heart is so in it.”
Now, isn’t that awesome? You get the opportunity and you transform a gruesome reality of your life into a haven for other similar lives!!!
As we wait for the Dark Tide and Frankie and Alice, Halle is also making a Broadway debut in Katori-Hall’s two person play, The Mountaintop. The play is about the last night of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, life, with Berry playing a kind of imaginary chambermaid/angel. Not having been onstage since her days with Second City in Chicago more than 20 years ago, she is just a tad anxious.
We’re sure gonna be there, Halle!