Halle Berry: Zendaya is ‘proof-positive’ Hollywood is ‘changing’
'I couldn't be prouder and I know you probably can't be prouder of yourself, which is most important,' the veteran actress remarked.
During a panel discussion, Halle Berry poured love into Zendaya as the rising Gen-Z talent enters a new era in her already historical career.
The virtual event was hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as a part of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival featured HFPA members Elisabeth Sereda and Silvia Bizio, as well as Robin Wright, Andra Day, and Sia on Sunday. During the conversation, Berry remarked on the shift in Hollywood and entertainment for Black women and celebrated Zendaya as proof.
“At 24, that she can have an idea and go get it done and get enough support behind her to get that done and to give her the power and to keep the creativity, I think that says so much for where we have gotten and that is what makes me want to keep fighting, because of Zendaya, at 24, a Black woman can do that,” said Berry.
She continued by describing the Euphoria star as “proof-positive that things are changing and I couldn’t be prouder and I know you probably can’t be prouder of yourself, which is most important.”
Both actresses have landmark award wins in their acting careers. Zendaya recently became the youngest actress to win an Emmy award for lead-actress-in-a-drama. She earned the title for her portrayal of the character Rue Bennett in Euphoria.
In 2002, Halle Berry became the first Black actress to win an Oscar for best actress in the 2001 film Monsters Ball.
The former Disney-star added that she has been fortunate enough to have accomplished so much at a young age and earning the respect of her industry peers and leaders, especially her male counterparts.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with men who have respected my power, and encouraged it, with that being Sam [Levinson] and obviously John [David Washington],” she remarked. “I’ve been lucky to be in those experiences that are collaborative and open to what the world should be looking like.”
She added “Had it not been for the women before me, I wouldn’t be in this position.”
Zendaya stars alongside Washington in the Netflix film Malcolm and Marie which was criticized for the age-gap between the two leading stars. theGrio reported the 24-year-old responded to those wary of a romance between her and the 36-year-old actor.
“People often forget — which is understandable because I’ve been playing 16 since I was 16, you know — [but] I am grown…I knew that, as I grow and as I evolve, there would be that moment where I could play someone my own age.”
Washington also responded to the backlash.
“People are going to see in this film how much of a woman she is. She has far more experience than I do in the industry. I’ve only been in it for seven years. She’s been in it longer, so I’m learning from her. I’m the rookie.”
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