Halle Berry reveals her favorite superhero is Catwoman, but specifically Eartha Kitt’s version from the 1960s Batman live-action series.
Halle Berry revealed in a tweet whose portrayal of Catwoman is her favorite (and it’s not her own). The movie star made her film debut with a small role in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, and quickly established her range as an actor by appearing in a wide variety of genres. Berry is the first and only Black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress, which she won for her performance in the 2001 drama, Monster’s Ball. Berry has also shown an affinity for action movies, appearing as mutant superhero, Storm, in four X-Men movie installments. But her most infamous movie to date is likely the highly anticipated but poorly received 2004 superhero flick, Catwoman.
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Originally intended for Michelle Pfeiffer to reprise her role as Catwoman/Selina Kyle from Batman Returns, Catwoman underwent many changes between its initial conception in 1993 and its eventual release in 2004, the most notable being that neither Pfeiffer nor rumored director, Tim Burton, were involved in the final product. Berry, who by 2004 was a bonafide action star in addition to her critical success, was eventually cast as the titular Catwoman, aka Patience Phillips. Sadly, Catwoman did poorly at the box office and with critics. The film was nominated for several Golden Raspberry Awards, and won for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actress, which Berry showed up to collect in person.
Berry said in a tweet on Friday that Catwoman is (still) her favorite superhero, quickly adding in a follow-up tweet, “… the Eartha Kitt version though.” Broadway star and entertainment legend, Eartha Kitt, portrayed Catwoman for five episodes of the Batman live-action television series in 1967. Kitt imbued the character with her powerful presence and distinctively mischievous sense of humor, not to mention an instantly iconic purr. Berry and Kitt both appeared in Eddie Murphy’s classic 1992 romantic comedy, Boomerang, which was one of Berry’s earliest breakout performances. Check out the tweet below:
Berry has historically responded to Catwoman critiques with an impressive sense of humor, like when she brought her Oscar onstage to accept the Razzie for Worst Actress. She good-naturedly disparaged the film during her acceptance speech, but has never regretted taking the role. Despite the poor reception and disappointing gross, Catwoman was the most financially successful woman-led superhero film until Wonder Woman was released in 2017. But for those thirteen years in between, Catwoman‘s failure was used by many to justify the colossal gender gap in superhero movies, as if it would be reasonable to justify such inequity on the basis of a single movie’s performance.
The reality is that an individual movie, show, or actor is rarely powerful enough to single-handedly change or enforce the structural disparities of the industry without institutional support. Berry’s Best Actress win was rightfully celebrated as historic, but in the twenty years since then, only six Black actresses have been nominated for the award and none have won. Zoe Kravitz will be the third Black actress to portray Catwoman in the upcoming film, The Batman, after being denied the same role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight on the basis of her race nearly a decade ago. Hollywood has a lot of work to do to eradicate the pervasive racism, but Berry’s love for Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman is a reminder that the character and what she represents is more than any one performance or metric of success.
Source: Halle Berry
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