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Halle Berry And Penelope Cruz Talked Candidly On Oprah's Oscar Special

Oprah's Prime Time Oscar Special is always interesting.  This year's special was no different.  I especially enjoyed the chat between Oscar winners Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz.  I am a fan of both women and their chat seemed to flow so effortlessly it was like spying on two friends having a glass of wine together.

The Queen of Daytime TV greeted her viewers in a gorgeous green knit dress with a stunning darker green and silver necklace.  Her shoulder length hair was worn down in loose waves around her collar.  She kicked off her show by welcoming her viewers and expressing the hope they were "in a safe and cozy spot" to watch her special.  Oprah said "I want to start with the Oscar night where I literally cried my false eyelashes off.  It was a historic emotionally charged win at the Academy Awards."  Oprah showed a clip of Halle Berry winning her Academy Award (for "Monster Ball").

Oprah said "Halle Berry became the first African American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress."  Halle said in her acceptance speech "this moment is so much bigger than me.  And its for every nameless faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened."

Oprah said "Penelope Cruz took top honors last year as "Best Supporting Actress in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona".  In her acceptance clip Penelope said "have anybody ever fainted here?  I might be the first one."  Now she's nominated for her stunning performance in "Nine".

Oprah noted these two stunningly talented women "met up in New York City and we get to listen in."  Where was the meet-up?  Tao, a cozy eatery in Manhattan.

Penelope Was Nominated Back To Back

Pixie short haired Halle started by asking Penelope "how does it feel to be nominated back to back?"

Penelope, wearing her hair parted down the middle and long and bone straight said about her winning last year "my main fear was not to have a panic attack.  Because I thought I was this (she held her fingers together to show how close) close to stepping into the other side."

Halle said "Really?  I stepped into the other side.  I don't even remember getting up.  I don't even remember standing there. I remember Russell Crowe saying 'breathe mate.  You gotta breathe mate.' I didn't write anything, it was just sort of pouring out of me."

Halle's Acceptance Speech Was Not Written In Advance

Penelope seemed surprised.  She said "you didn't write the speech?"  Halle said "I didn't write a speech.  I really didn't think I was going to go up there.  I really, I thought, this has been a nice ride and lots of good recognition but the Oscar just seemed unattainable for me."

Penelope listened intently and nodded her head "uh huh."   Halle "so no, I didn't write anything.  My regret."

Penelope "no, but no, it was amazing.  It was so from your heart.  It was beautiful.  Way before Monster's Ball, I have a problem with the title of the movie because when I said it, it sounds like the "The Balls Of The Monster" I'm sorry and I've tried to correct myself but I'm not going to say the title.  But in Monster Ball."

Penelope Screamed When She Saw Halle In Monster's Ball

Penelope asked Halle to say the title of the movie for her.  Penelope said "Monster's Ball."  Penelope "when I saw you in that movie I was screaming.  Like, I'm so happy that an amazing actress like you are found that role to express yourself that way.  Because it is mind blowing what you do in that movie.  So something I wouldn't normally ask in the sofa, in Monster's Balls."  Penelope laughed as did Halle and Penelope said "I'm in trouble with this interview."

Penelope "so when I saw that scene (a clip was shown of Halle in the movie) I was so blown away by how brave you were.  And I don't mean about showing your body."  Halle answered "righ.t"

The High Of Merging Into The Soul Of The Character

Penelope "I could see that woman's soul."  Halle "people say that must have been hard, but it wasn't me up there.  I had totally surrendered to that character and I knew one boot was going one way and another boot was going that way and I just totally didn't connect to my physical self at all.  Me as a person evaporates and just emerges through someone else.  That's the best fun and the most joy I ever have on a movie set."

Penelope "yeah, that's a great way to explain it.  And when that happens for me, it's true happiness.  I look for that connection, that experience.  As you say it's a high. You fly. It's so hard to find."

Halle "did you fly in 'Nine' because I thought you did.  I thought you were sexy from the inside out."  Penelope "thank you Halle."

Deep Secrets Halle And Penelope Want Others To Know About Them

Halle said to Penelope "what would you want people to know about you that they might not know?"  Penelope "I think that's hard.  I never feel safe showing 100% of who I am.  I feel much more relaxed today because I'm talking to you.  I don't really show myself, who I am or my sense of humor, or my sense of humor about myself."

Halle "that's brings me to what I might say.  I would want people to know that I'm really funny.  I don't think people think that I'm funny."  Penelope "You are very funny."  Halle "but no one knows I'm funny and I want people to know I'm funny and I do have a sense of humor and I laugh at myself.  And I find the funny in everything and everybody else."

Penelope "yeah."  Halle "I know my life changed profoundly when I won the Academy Award.  Has your life changed? One thing, you'll always be Oscar winner Penelope Cruz"

Penelope "It give you self confidence.  I think it gives you confidence and the respect and the love from your peers."

The Pressures Of Winning An Academy Award

Halle "When I won The Academy Award I remember feeling this enormous amount of pressure because now I had this award and now I felt that I had to live up to it.  And I got a beautiful letter written to me by an actress that I really really admire and she said to me 'you know, winning the Academy Award isn't always the best thing that can happen to one's career."

Halle continued "It was Diane Keaton and I realized what she meant because there's this pressure that comes in and sits on your shoulders and your expected to now live up to having it.  And so I felt a dilemma for awhile and 'how am I going to navigate my career now with this pressure that set down on me?' so I decided to kick it in the face and laugh at it instead and 'you know what.  I'm not going to live up to it.  I might never win another one.  But you know what?  You can't take away the one that I have."

Penelope's Nickname Is PE

Halle said to Penelope "I'll start with.  OK, I'll start with P cause you signed all of your emails P  Somebody calls you P."  Penelope said "sometimes P or PE because people call me 'PE'."  Halle said "OK PE."  Penelope "I like when you say it."  Halle "if you weren't an actor PE, what would you be doing for a living?"  Penelope "I think I would be a dancer."  Halle "I would say that would be good."

Penelope "a dancer or a travel agent.  I love organizing all the trips for all my friends and family.  And even sometimes for strangers.  I love that. I don't know why."  Halle laughed.

Penelope said "what about you, what would you be?"  Halle "I would probably be a therapist."  She laughed "or I would be an interior decorator.  I'm a closet interior decorator."

Halle And Penelope's Favorite Movies Of All Time

Halle "what film could you watch over and over and over and over?"  Penelope "8 1/2 (Federico Fellini) I've watched many time and it's one of my favorite films. What about you?"  Halle "You know what I would watch over and over? 'Fatal Attraction' I remember where I was when I saw that movie and I just felt like Glenn Close was out the box amazing."  Penelope "she's incredible in that movie."  Halle "amazing"  Penelope "so scary"  Halle "scary"  Penelope "and he (Michael Douglas) was great too."  Halle "yeah, it was really good.  They were good together."

Halle asked Penelope "where's your favorite place to be?"  Penelope "at the beach, anywhere. The hot weather.  The beach.  You?"  Halle "I would say anyplace with my daughter."  Penelope "of course."  Halle "anyplace on the planet.  As long as she's there, it'll be a good place."  Penelope "I understand."

Halle "it's not like a relationship with a man.  They come and they go.  You may be with someone forever, you may not.  I will always be her mother and she will always be my daughter and nothing every changes that."

Penelope "I'm so happy for you."  Halle said "thank you."

Halle "So this year you're going back to The Academy Awards but you're also a winner because you won last year.  Does that make you feel anything?"  Is it somehow different?"

Penelope "I don't have the nerves of 'oh I might win' because I know for sure I will not win so that way I'm more."  Halle "now how do you know that?"  Penelope "I know, because I won last year so I don't even want to want to win because I would feel so greedy.  You know?  This is so much more than I ever dreamed."

Plans For Sunday And The Oscars

Halle "Right, right."  Penelope "so what are you doing Sunday, the day of The Oscars?"  Halle "I am going to be in my JJs with a glass of wine at home and just watching, you know, from afar, this year. And rooting for my friend."  Halle leaned in and looked at Penelope.

Penelope said "thank you."  Halle said "I wish you all the luck in the world.  Penelope "I want to have fun that night and enjoy every second, everything I can no remember from last year."  Halle "you'll remember it this year."  Penelope "I hope.  And I've very happy to see you again."  Halle "I'm happy to see you too.  Thanks."

And the interview ended with the two women hugging and kissing.

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