“For me, it was one of the biggest paydays of my whole life, which, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Berry, 54, told Entertainment Weekly in her Tuesday, August 10, cover story. “I don’t want to feel like ‘Oh, I can only do award-worthy stuff.’ What is an award-worthy performance?”
The actress was fresh off her 2002 Oscar win for best actress in Monster’s Ball, but she said the offers didn’t come rolling in after she took home the trophy. When Warner Bros. offered her $14 million to play the superhero, according to The Los Angeles Times, she jumped at it.
Berry had already established herself as an action star by playing Storm in the X-Men films as well as a Bond girl opposite Pierce Brosnan in 2002’s Die Another Day. However, the DC Comics adaptation was her first chance to headline a big blockbuster.
Catwoman‘s $100 million budget wasn’t earned back at the box office. After lackluster reviews, the iconic Batman character’s film only pulled in $82.1 million worldwide.
The Ohio-born actress has never distanced herself from the movie, which still holds a nine percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes among critics and 18% among audiences. She accepted her Razzie Award for worst actress in person, and she brought her Oscar with her as she made her acceptance speech.
“You don’t win a Razzie without a lot of help from a lot of people,” she said at the 2005 ceremony. “First of all, I want to thank Warner Bros. Thank you for putting me in a piece of s–t, god-awful movie! It was just what my career needed.”
Berry previously referred to her Catwoman paycheck as “a s–t-load of money that changed my life” while accepting the Matrix Award from New York Women in Communication in 2018.
The John Wick Chapter 3 star, who briefly lived in a homeless shelter when she was starting her career, has been open and honest about making money and fighting for equal pay.
“I think when you believe you’re worth it, that’s when you’ll fight for [equal pay],” she said during a panel at the Girls’ Lounge Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2017. “When you know that the work you’re providing is worth more than they’re willing to pay you, then you’ll ask for it. That’s when you’ll be willing to walk away from it if they say no. But you have to be willing to walk away. … We have to own our worth and know our worth.”Listen to Watch With Us to hear more about your favorite shows and for the latest TV news!
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