Halle Berry finds it 'heartbreaking' that in 20 years, a black woman has not won best actress Oscar

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Halle Berry finds it "heartbreaking" that she is still the only black woman to have won the best actress Oscar.

The 55-year-old star took home the coveted honour for her role in Monster's Ball in 2002, and she thought her historical win would "open the door" for more females of colour, so she's disappointed that has not happened. 

She told the New York Times, "The fact that no one is standing next to me is heartbreaking."

oscar, awards, actress, equality, women
Halle Berry at the 74th Annual Academy Awards in 2002. Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

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But Halle insisted that the lack of acknowledgement at the Academy Awards doesn't detract from the "great" work done in the industry by women of colour.

"We can't always judge success or progress by how many awards we have. Awards are the icing on the cake. They're your peers saying you were exceptionally excellent this year," she said.

"But does that mean that if you don't get the exceptionally excellent nod, that we were not great, and we're not successful, and we're not changing the world with our art, and our opportunities aren't growing?"

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Halle was the seventh woman of colour to be shortlisted for the award. She says the moment was bigger than her.

She was nominated alongside Nicole Kidman, Dame Judi Dench, Sissy Space K and Renee Zellweger. 

"I don't know how I got up there. It was totally a blackout moment. All I remember is Russell Crowe says, 'Breathe, mate.' And then I had a golden statue in my hand, and I started talking."

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Halle recently directed her first movie, 'Bruised' and she thinks that in itself is proof that the industry is changing. "20 years ago, a black woman directing a movie about the fight genre? I don't think I could've even wrapped my brain around it," she said.

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