Halle Berry pushed to 'achieve' by school bullies
Halle Berry's "desire to achieve" stems from her experience with racial bullying during her school years.
The 50-year-old actress has admitted she was "the brunt of a lot of jokes" when she was placed in a school with predominantly white students after her mother moved her and her sister out of the Cleveland inner city, but admits she now uses her experiences to "prove" she is just as "good" as the students who put her down.
Speaking to 'The Jess Cagle Interview' for People magazine, the Oscar-winning actress said: "[My mother] was so horrified by what she saw at the school, the violence, and all of a sudden it hit her ... So, she moved us out of that neighbourhood ... and while we got taken out of imminent danger, we also got taken out of what was normal for us, and now all of a sudden, we were in an all-white school with all-white kids, like 3 out of 2500 students.
"Because my mother was white and my father was black ... we got called Oreos and names, and kids just didn't understand, so we were different. We were the brunt of a lot of jokes. So, I think 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. I felt very 'less than,' and I thought, 'If I can beat them at everything, then I can be as good as them.'"
Meanwhile, the 'Extant' star - who has nine-year-old daughter Nahla with her ex Gabriel Aubry and Maceo, three, with her former spouse Olivier Martinez - recently admitted she's worried about her own choices as a mother, as she fears she could do something "damaging" to her children.
She said: "I am strong enough to affect change. There's fears as a mom that I'll make a mistake. I hope that along the way I don't do anything that's too damaging to my children that they won't be able to deal with."