“[Nahla is the] best thing that ever happened to me,” Halle says with pride. The 43-year-old mother of one went on to tell a cute story about her sweet girl.
“I’ll tell you a story: I took her shopping, and I had that moment that every parent has,” Halle recalls.”You look away for a second and they’re gone, and your body just gets all hot. And so I had a little breakdown. Shut the doors! I’ve lost my daughter! I look around and, sure enough, 30 seconds later, she pokes her head out: ‘Hi, Mommy.’ But it made me think: What if she really did get lost? Would she be able to say who she is?”
So that night, I said, ‘What’s your mommy’s name?’ And she looked at me like, You idiot. Why are you asking me what your name is? I asked her again: ‘Nahla? What is Mommy’s name?’ She thought about it for a second, and finally she said, ‘Halle Blueberries!’ Blueberries are her favorite fruit.” Berry laughs, “I’m just glad she didn’t say ‘Halle Blackberry.’”
Halle says she’s feeling ready to dive back into work – and Nahla seems to be on board.
“It’s been good being a mom, and I love it, but Nahla’s gotten to a point where it’s OK for me to get back to what I love, to have that creative outlet.”
Just as the Introducing Dorothy Dandridge actress was getting ready to make her comeback from the “Oscar curse,” the news of her breakup with male model Gabriel Aubry upstaged everything. “Just my luck!” she says. “By the time it hit the papers—full of rumors and lies, with people having to make up problems between us—Gabriel and I had long dealt with it. We were done. And we were on a good foot, and we had decided what we were going to do for Nahla, and we were able to say, ‘This will pass.’”
So did it pass?
“In two weeks!” she says. “Because there was no truth to any of it. There is no discord, there is no fighting. So it came and went. Now we are back to how it was before: living apart, raising our daughter.”
What was the reason for the breakup?
“It’s just that you realize you are not meant to go the distance with everybody,” she says. “We were meant to bring this amazing little person into the world. And I think that’s why we came together. And because of that, we are going to be together forever, all three of us. We are a family until we are not here anymore.”
Do they remain friendly with each other?
“Yes. Very.” She says. “We have always been friends, we’re still friends, we love each other very much, and we both share the love of our lives. And we are both 100 percent committed to being the best parents we can be. And while it was not a love connection for us, he was absolutely the right person to have this child with because she is going to have an amazing father. And that was really important to me. We’ll make sure we always do what is right for her and put her first. And she will see as she grows that we have a lot of love for each other.”
After Halle’s breakup with ex-husband Eric Benét, she famously vowed to never get married again. Does this still stand true? “Yes,” she says. “I’m not done with love, but I refuse to settle. I am a hopeless romantic. And I won’t stop till I get it right.”
She goes on, “I don’t think I’m unlike a lot of people. I am just someone who is trying to find that mate, and I think it’s a really hard thing to do. And I’m not willing to stay somewhere where I am really not happy. And I am not willing to pretend I am for the kid’s sake or so that I don’t have to go through another public humiliation.”
Halle goes on to talk about lifelong relationships. “It’s about accepting who we really are, not who we want to be. As much as I have always wanted to be in this committed relationship and have the picket fence and grow old with the same person, I’m coming to terms with: Maybe that’s just not who I am.” She goes on to claim that Nahla is “the love of her life,” and that “If anything was missing, it was that.”
Switching gears, Halle says she love nude photography and describes a naked photo of herself while pregnant with Nahla during the interview.
“If the world wouldn’t persecute me, I’d take nude pictures every day of the week.” She then shows the interviewer a small framed picture of her, naked and eight months pregnant on the beach in Mexico leaping through the air. “I was in Cabo San Lucas with Cliff, and there was a beach full of people. And I was like, ‘I’m going to take my clothes off,’ and he was like, ‘No, HB, don’t!’ And I’m like, ‘F*ck it! Take the picture!’ And I took my clothes off and I just ran down the beach.” She laughs. “I could not have been happier in my life.”
Halle also opens up about her biggest worry these days.
“I worry that this whole insatiable appetite for celebrity children will somehow adversely affect Nahla. I don’t think it’s fair, and I don’t think it’s safe. How will she grow up, having been objectified like this for most of her whole young life? Already they write things about her: Oh, she looks like this; oh, she looks like that. But nobody knows her. They just pick her apart on a very superficial level. How will I be able to help her keep that in perspective in this town?” As such, she recently rented a house in San Francisco to spend time alone with Nahla away from the glare of celebrity. She’s since considering moving there full time, “to have her grow up in a place that is less of a fishbowl.”
For Halle, being a mother seems to have brought a clearer understanding of her own upbringing. “I have a new focus that’s outside myself,” she says, “and that feels really good, in your 40s, to have arrived at that place. I’m actually lucky and grateful that I waited until an age when I can really be present. I saw my mother in her early 20s having two little kids, and I don’t think she enjoyed me at two the way that I enjoy my daughter. She didn’t have that luxury.” She adds, “Nature has got it all wrong: When you are younger, it should be harder to get pregnant, and as you get older it should be easier. When you are so ready, you can’t do it to save your life. And when you are 21, you are so not ready, but you are ripe as could be. The eggs should become more developed the older you get, not die slowly from the day you’re born. That’s one thing God got wrong.”