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In 1985, Halle Berry represented the state of Ohio in the Miss Teen All-American Pageant and won. A year later, she became the first runner-up in the Miss U.S.A. pageant. Following that pageant, she embarked on a modeling career. In other words, Berry is used to being beautiful. That’s not a bad label to have that is, unless you want a diverse acting career.

When Berry first started auditioning for roles, she went out for rough and rugged roles because she wanted to prove that she could play any character, but often heard “no” due to the fact that she was attractive. However, she didn’t let that stop her.

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“In the beginning, I used to have to downplay it because I wanted to be taken so seriously as a thespian and as an artist and as an actor,” Berry told “I’d play crackheads and downtrodden women and disguise myself. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more comfortable with who I really am and all parts of me knowing that my physical self doesn’t diminish me in any way or my talent.”

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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.