ILoveOldSchoolMusic.com, Posted July 12th 2019
In 1991, Halle Berry officially began making noise in Hollywood, as Samuel Jackson’s ‘crackhead girlfriend’ in “Jungle Fever.” Her role was kinda small, but her performance was memorable. Word on the Old School curb is that she poured so much blood, sweat, and dedication into her role, that she refused to bathe for weeks, in order to give off the authenticity of being a homeless crackhead. She was THAT serious about it. Apparently, there was another topic she took seriously and it sparked a heated confrontation with director, Spike Lee, on the set.
Halle Berry Revealed What Led To Argument With Spike Lee
In the autobiography, “Halle Berry: A Biography of an Oscar-Winning Actress,” the argument between Halle and Spike was discussed. It seems to have involved the topic of her half Black/half White biracial heritage and her parents:
Jungle Fever was a hit. It made money and was praised by critics. But their same critics had differing views of Jungle Fever’s message. Some thought the theme was that it is foolish for people to be disturbed by interracial romance in the face of more important issues, such as crime and drugs. Others thought Lee was saying that interracial romances simply did not work, a view Berry didn’t agree with. Off camera, Berry got into an argument with Spike Lee. “He said my parents divorced because Black/White love can never work. I told Spike that that was just his warped and twisted point of view. The reality was that my parents loved each other…they split up because of my father’s drinking.”
That made for a tense moment behind the scenes and tapped a nerve within Halle, that Spike probably had no idea existed in her at that time.
Halle Details Racism She & Sister Endured As Kids As A Result Of Being Biracial
In years that followed “Jungle Fever,” Halle’s made it no secret that she has encountered many racial issues, which have molded her life and personality. For example, in a prior interview with People (see below video), Halle opened up about how she and her sister were teased and subjected to racism throughout her high school years in Bedford, Ohio. According to Halle, it all started after they’d switched schools and began attending Bedford High School, which she says was a predominantly White, with “like 3 [Black students] out of 2500 students.”
Halle Berry: “Now, all of a sudden we were in an all-white school with all-white kids. I got bullied a little bit…because of the color of my skin and at that time we were ‘Oreos,’” Halle said, referencing her and her sister’s biracial (half Caucasian, half African American) heritage. My need to please and my desire to achieve was because I was constantly trying to prove that I was as good as the other white students,” she explained. “I felt very less than and I thought if I could beat them at everything, then I can be as good as them. Subsequently, that taught me how to win in life.”
Halle’s schoolmates actually viewed her as the opposite of what she’s saying. Some of Halle’s classmates’ reactions to her racial claims, were reported by PJ Media.
One of her former White classmates brought up the fact that Halle was voted prom queen of their high school:
Rachel W.: “Class of ’86 here…..I didn’t know Halle personally so while I certainly can’t speak to her individual experience I can speak to how I looked at her and how all of my friends looked at her in high school. My female friends (black and white) and I thought she was gorgeous and wanted to look like her while my male friends (black and white) had massive crushes on her and wanted to date her. Curious also that she left out the fact she was elected Prom Queen by the entire student body, black and white.”
Another one shared the same sentiments:
Shannon T: “I remember everyone always being in awww of Hallie. She was always gorgeous and everyone seemed to look up to her.”
The point is that people oftentimes make assumptions, when looking from the outside in. Simply because others did not walk in Halle’s shoes, doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen in the way that she experienced it, as opposed to the way they presumed it to be. That’s something Spike Lee probably realized about Halle, after their reportedly heated convo.’ Good thing is they long ago got over their differences and are hella cool now. We all live and we learn.