Berry's rocky relationships are no secret. The collapse of Berry's four-year marriage to baseball player David Justice resulted in a suicide attempt, her second husband Eric Benet went into sex rehab and admitted to cheating on her repeatedly, and now she is currently in a custody struggle with her daughter Nahla's father Gabriel Aubry.
"My picker's broken," Berry tells T about her ability to choose men. "God just wanted to mix up my life. Maybe he was thinking, 'This girl can't get everything! I'm going to give her a broken picker.'"
But now that she's engaged to Olivier Martinez, she says her picker is apparently "fixed now."
According to Berry, part of her questionable past choices comes from her admitted low self-esteem.
"Just because they see my face doesn't mean they see me. A person's self-esteem has nothing to do with how she looks," she says. "If it's true that I'm beautiful, I'm proof of that. Self-esteem comes from who you have in your life. How you were raised. What you struggled with as a child."
Her childhood struggles include being raised by a single mother and having a hard time fitting in due to being bi-racial.
"My mother tried hard," Berry says. "But there was no substitute for having a black woman I could identify with, who could teach me about being black."
"I always had to prove myself through my actions,"she recalls about being the lone black student in a nearly all-white school. "Be a cheerleader. Be class president. Be the editor of the newspaper. It gave me a way to show who I was without being angry or violent. By the time I left school, I had a lot of tenacity. I'd turned things around."
Still, her "humble beginnings" very much affect her today -- even on the night she won an Oscar for Monster's Ball.
"I always felt like the underdog. Behind the eight ball. I learned not to be too high on the hog," she explains. "Even that night I won the Oscar, I had a fundamental knowing, it was just a moment in time. Driving home that night, back to my house, I felt like Cinderella. I said, 'When this night is over, I'm going back to who I was.' And I did."
Halle is now set to return to the big screen in Cloud Atlas after a bit of a hiatus, but just don't call it a "comeback."
"I never went anywhere," she says. "I just seized the chance to be in an extraordinary film with an extraordinary cast, exploring an idea that's relevant to everyone."
Cloud Atlas hits theaters October 26.
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