It’s a role played by Halle Berry we will NEVER FORGET — The role of Vivian the crack addict and Samuel L. Jackson’s girlfriend in Spike Lee’s 1991 hit flick, Jungle Fever.
The stunning actress killed it as a druggie, which is why you’d probably never guess she practically begged to get the spot. The mother of two revealed to W Magazine in the Royals issue that her beauty was an actual hinderance.
“I came from the world of beauty pageants and modeling and right away when people heard that I got discounted as an actor,” she said. “So, I had the job of trying to eliminate that part of my persona, and Spike [Lee] gave me a chance to do that. And I took on roles early on that really didn’t rely on my physical self at all and that was a good way to sort of get some credibility within my industry.”
Berry continued, “Spike wanted me to read for the part of [Snipe’s] wife and I read that part fine enough, but then I said to Spike, ‘You know I really am eyeing this crack ho role, can you please let me audition for that?’ And he said, ‘No, no I don’t see you as the crack ho.’ I said, ‘I am the crack ho. Really deep down I’m the crack ho!’ And he was like, ‘No, I don’t see it.’ And I said, ‘Let me go in the bathroom, wash all this makeup off; you will see I am the crack ho.’”
“So, he let me do that and I came back out and I got to read the crack ho, and I got the part of the crack ho,” she added. “And it was an amazing way to start my career, playing a crack ho directed by Spike Lee. It was major for me.”
It was immediately proven that the model had the chops to take on a crack addict, which is why she wound up stealing the screen in the 1995 Stephen Gyllenhaal drama, Losing Isaiah. In the movie, Berry played a crack-addicted single mother fighting to gain custody of her child.