Halle Berry’s latest film Frankie & Alice hits theaters today and according to the 47-year-old actress, it’s been a labor of love. The film, which stars Berry as Frankie, a woman who struggles with dissociative identity disorder, has taken years to see a theatrical release after it first hit the film festival circuit in 2011.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Berry for Essence.com about how she feels now that her film will finally make it to audiences.
“It’s like birthing a baby that you’ve carried for five years and it feels really good,” she explained. “It’s the first film I ever produced, so for all those reasons it’s truly a passion. And now that it’s not going to sit on a shelf, it’s going to see the light of day? I’m over the moon.”
Based on true events, Frankie & Alice is the story of a Los Angeles go-go dancer who suffers from multiple personalities that threaten to take over her life. Through the course of the film Frankie battles between two distinct alter egos—“Genius,” a seven-year-old girl, and “Alice,” a White racist woman from the South—until she works with a psychotherapist to finally get her disorder under control.
The unique story was one Berry said she just had to tell.
“For this woman to have survived this, and not just survived it, but she is now teaching at one of the most reputable universities in the country—she’s revered. She has found a way to live with this disorder, and not only live, but thrive. I thought it was a great testament to her character, to overcoming mental illness, and at the end of the day, it was inspiring and I wanted to be apart of bringing a story like this to the screen.”
Frankie & Alice was the first film produced by Berry’s new production company 606 Films and also stars Phylicia Rashad, Stellan Skarsgård, Chandra Wilson, Rosalyn Coleman, Joanne Baron, and Brian Markinson.