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Berry Sees Spirits In 'Gothika'

In the new thriller "Gothika," Academy Award winner Halle Berry plays a criminal psychologist.

Her character, Dr. Miranda Grey, wakes up to find herself a patient in her own mental institution with no memory of the murder she may have committed.

The last thing Grey remembers is having an encounter with a mysterious young girl on an isolated road. The doctor maintains her innocence, but friends and colleagues believe she may be falling into madness.

This is the film Berry signed on to do after winning her Oscar. She tells The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen, "This was a great role for a woman. There is such a range of emotions that this character goes through. She is victimized in many ways, but she's not a victim and I love the character. She's a tortured soul and I just respond to those kinds of women."

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The supernatural thriller is the first sold on her name, something Berry says is scary to her.

She says, "It's what I've dreamed up and I guess always wanted. But, at the same time, there is a pressure to perform and all you can do, I've learned, is do the work that you respond to. Do the best you can. Give a hundred percent every day and just throw it up against the wall and it will be what it's meant to be and I do believe that."

The movie also stars Penelope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr. and Charles S. Dutton.

Next for Berry is playing in "Catwoman," "The Guide," and "The Set-Up."

Some Facts About Halle Berry

  • Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Aug. 14, 1966
  • She attended Bedford (Ohio) High School (1984) and was a cheerleader, editor of the school paper and president of honor society. She also was elected prom queen; classmates accused her of stuffing the ballot box because the school population was predominantly Caucasian. A coin toss decided the results and Berry won.
  • She attended Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.
  • In 1984, Berry was named winner of the Miss Teen All-American Pageant, representing the state of Ohio. Two years later, she became first runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant and worked as a model in Chicago. She won the dress competition in the Miss World pageant.
  • In 1989, she made her TV debut as model Emily Franklin in ABC sitcom "Living Dolls"
  • In 1991,she made her feature debut as a junkie in "Jungle Fever," directed by Spike Lee
  • In 1993, she was cast as title character in the CBS miniseries "Queen," based on Alex Haley's book. The following year, she was cast as Rosetta Stone in "The Flintstones;" a role that had first been offered to Sharon Stone
  • In 1995, she portrayed the Queen of Sheba opposite Jimmy Smits in "Solomon & Sheba." She co-starred opposite Jessica Lange in "Losing Isaiah;" she played a former drug addict trying to regain custody of her son
  • In 1996, she was signed by Revlon to model cosmetics in print and TV advertising
  • In 1998, she appeared opposite Warren Beatty in the political comedy "Bulworth." She also co-starred as one of the three wives of singer Frankie Lymon in "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"
  • In 1999, she realized a dream project by co-producing and starring in the HBO biopic "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge." She won an Emmy Award for portraying the singer-actress, the first black woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award
  • In 2000, Berry needed 22 stitches to close wound on her forehead received in a Feb. 23 Los Angeles car accident; she later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of an accident. The driver of other car involved filed a civil suit seeking damages. The lawsuit was resolved in an out-of-court settlement in May 2001
  • In 2000, she was featured as Storm, a mutant with the power to produce adverse weather conditions, in the big-screen version of the Marvel Comic "X-Men"
  • And in 2001, she was cast as the widow of a death row inmate who falls in love with a former prison guard in "Monster's Ball." For this role, she won Best Actress Oscar, becoming the first black woman to win in that category