Halle Berry is equally acclaimed for her acting and for her beauty. The stunning actress has won an Oscar, she has starred in many films, and she has produced a few. Now she has turned her attention to television with the new CBS series Extant, premiering July 9th. Steven Spielberg is the executive producer of the science fiction mystery-thriller from his Amblin Television and CBS Television Studios production company. Halle Berry also serves as co-executive producer.
Always passionate about what she does, Halle sounds like a die-hard Comic-Con fan when she starts talking about Spielberg. “Steven is the best to work with. He knows what’s good about supernatural and sci-fi projects. When I got the script [by Mickey Fisher]for Extant it was just amazing. I hadn’t read anything like it. That’s why I’m coming to TV,” she explains.
“I’m always on the lookout for amazing roles, and when you see material that contains these strong auspices, nuances, and this level of complexity, it compels me to run toward it no matter the medium. For five months [I got] to live with and play this incredibly intelligent and vulnerable woman, and for the remainder of the year I’ll continue to look for other roles that move me as deeply as this one,” says Berry who praises the CBS executives at the top, Nina Tassler and Les Moonves, as “amazing partners” on this project. Plus, she calls working with Steven Spielberg “incredible,” along with his Amblin production team, “whose vision and creativity in storytelling is unparalleled.” She also let it be known in an interview that she believes there is other life in the universe.
Berry says she has certain criteria that must be met before she gets involved with a production nowadays. “The way I choose material has evolved over the years. I look for things that inspire me—things that are different, characters and material that I feel have something to offer. And I look for a challenge.”
For thirteen episodes, Extant will tell the tale of an astronaut (Halle Berry) who spends more than a year in space on a solo mission, and yet when she returns to earth, she discovers she’s pregnant. She struggles to reconnect with her husband (Goran Visnjic of ER fame) and android son, but her experiences in space and at home lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history. Camryn Manheim, Grace Gummer, Michael O’Neill, Pierce Gagnon, and Hiroyuki Sanada also star.
“I feel as I’ve gotten older, as each year goes by, and with each high and low, I finally start to ‘get it.’ I know I will be working until the day I die, but I also have a lot of comfort in knowing that I am starting to ‘get it.’ We are always going to be searching for love. Without love we don’t have life. There’d be no reason to be here,” explains Berry, 47, about what she learned from Extant’s story.
Explaining that her career choices are influenced by her role as “a working mom,” Berry (mother of two) says that she looks for “more control of my life by producing my own projects. I try to develop my own properties and I have sifted through a lot of bad things that came my way.” But she has also made some great choices over the years. Berry won her Best Actress Oscar in 2002 for her dramatic role in Monster’s Ball. Her additional feature film credits include playing Storm in the X-Men franchise, including the just released seventh installment, X-Men: Days of Future Past. She also starred in the James Bond film Die Another Day as the Bond girl Jinx. Last year she starred in the successful feature film thriller The Call. Berry’s successes on television include her critically acclaimed and award-winning role in HBO’s movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, which earned her an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award. Her critically praised performance starring in Their Eyes Were Watching God, produced by Oprah Winfrey, earned her both an Emmy and Golden Globe Award nomination.
Steven Spielberg is her fan too. The mega-filmmaker reports, “There’s only one Halle Berry and we are incredibly honored that she has chosen Extant to expand her illustrious career. As she does with everything she touches, she will bring a deep authenticity to her role, and I very much look forward to working with her.” It seems the feeling is mutual.