Halle Berry on balancing acting, motherhood: 'I was doing drive by nursings'

By Alex Cramer

For Halle Berry, she thought the transition from the big screen to television was going to be a breeze. “I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to go do TV and be at home with my family,” she explained during the CBS Summer Press Day on May 18 in West Hollywood. “I didn’t see my family, and I never worked harder in my life! Hats off to everybody that does television because it is a grind.”

To top off her transition, the Extant star also had her infant son Maceo she had to take care of on set. “I was nursing my baby,” she shared. “ My baby was just 3 months old when we started so I was doing drive by nursings every two hours. I would go into my trailer, nurse for 10 minutes and off I was.”

Halle (with co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan) appreciates the hard work that goes into making a TV show Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

In the series, which is back for a second season on July 1, Halle plays an astronaut who found herself pregnant with an alien child after returning from a 13 month solo mission in space. Already a mother to 7-year-old Nahla, she also spoke about how the birth of her son affected her acting on the show, in which she plays a mother to a boy named Ethan. The 48-year-old told reporters: “Well now that I have a son, I really do see the difference in relationship between having a little girl and having a boy and the special relationship that mothers and sons have.”

With this show, the Academy Award winning actress added a new title to her resume as she is not only the star but also a producer. Though being a producer vastly increased her workload, it also gave her a sense of creative satisfaction she couldn’t achieve as just an actress.

Halle shared she would nurse her son while on set Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

“It’s ok to just act and be an actor, I love that too. That’s what I’ve done for 25 years,” she stated. “But I’m learning that it’s nice to have some input in what you’re doing, and I’m just lucky that I have some people that really take me seriously.”

That also includes having a say in her character’s appearance. Halle, who went from having short hair in the first season to now having long flowing locks, admitted, “I just got sick of the short hair… The hair is not a mistake, it’s on purpose. It’s very much a part of the changes, the metamorphosis of her.”

The actress isn't afraid to change her style for a role Photo: Darren Michaels/CBS

And with the storyline being about aliens, the Scandale Paris lingerie owner concluded that she does believe in extra-terrestrial life. “Well before this show, when I was a little girl I would look up into the sky and thought ‘my god there has to be something else out there,’” she said. “And I do believe that there is something else out there.”

As for what it is, she continued: “I don’t know, but I’m not so egotistical to think that we’re the only ones in this vast universe and this show makes us think about it, you know on a daily basis and I hope that one day, I live long enough to find that answer. Maybe my kids will.”