Halle Berry set her mind to directing after her experience on the set of Catwoman. The 2004 superhero film focused on the adventures of Patience Phillips, aka Catwoman. Unfortunately, Catwoman was universally panned by critics, earned seven Razzie Award nominations, and was called one of the worst movies ever made. It currently holds a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Catwoman was also torn apart for its odd storyline and character choices. While producers had a wealth of source material to choose from, especially considering Catwoman’s long history in DC Comics and complicated relationship with Batman’s rogues, the film instead saw Patience facing off against a cosmetics company. The director himself admitted to not really considering the Catwoman comics as a foundation of the film when shooting the movie, saying he wanted to create an entirely new interpretation.
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In an interview with Variety, Halle Berry says her experience with Catwoman was a driving force behind why she wanted to become a director. She initially took the starring role because she wanted a chance to portray a superhero as a woman of color; however, she quickly regretted the decision upon arriving on set, saying «the story didn’t feel quite right.» More specifically, Berry references Patience’s entire plot with a cosmetics villain. Even back then, she argued that Catwoman should be able to face the kinds of threats that heroes such as Batman and Superman did on the regular, but was met with pushback. In the end, Berry says she was just an «actor for hire» and had «very little say» over the direction of the film.
In part, this constricting experience led Berry to want a more significant seat at the table. Since then, she’s tried to break into the world of directing as well, especially since it means having more ownership over a project. Most recently, Berry both directed and starred in Bruised, an upcoming sports film about MMA fighter Jackie Justice. Berry notes that sitting in the director’s chair has been an empowering moment, especially as she now feels like more than «a dancing bear.» Instead, Berry now has «a part in the totality of every department,» which is exactly where she wants to be. It’s clear that this is the next step of Berry’s evolution as an artist.
While Catwoman may have been a disaster in every sense of the word, it helped bring Berry to where she is today and it will be interesting to see what she does next. Berry continues to act in high-profile films, such as last year’s John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, but it’s also exciting to see her continue to evolve behind the camera and tell fascinating stories that are important to her. It’s great to see Berry put the Catwoman experience behind her and look to grow as she takes a seat in the director’s chair.
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About The Author
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Tiffany became addicted to writing in elementary school when she wrote her first short story. Since then, she’s written both editorial and short stories; that being said, 90% of her free time is spent on Netflix, HBO Max, and DC Universe, so she’s excited to finally put her TV-watching skills to good use!
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