It’s been roughly four years since Halle Berry first revealed her desire to play iconic activist Angela Davis but even as she revisits her “passion project” years later, she revealed that she would never move forward with the project without certain conditions being met.
The 48-year-old actress, the only Black woman to receive an Oscar for Best Actress, is hoping to take on the somewhat historical role—as long as the living legend herself would allow it.
“[Davis’ story] has always been a passion of mine,” Berry said in an interview with The Guardian. “She’s just fascinating: the era she lived in, the Black Panthers and all that they stood for, and her connection to it, or not to it. I have a lot of respect for how she lived her life.”
She made it clear, however, that she would never take on the role without Davis’ “blessing.”
Nobody would argue against any claims that the 71-year-old activist’s tale is an interesting one, but it has also been the site of much debate and public discourse.
The controversial icon was perhaps best known for her association with the Black Panther Party and her undying dedication to other civil rights initiatives.
As a part of the Communist Party, however, her important efforts in the push for civil rights were often overlooked by America’s elite.
When Davis taught her first college course at UCLA roughly 45 years ago, her Communist affiliation plagued her time in the classroom.
“Because Davis was a member of the Communist Party, the UC Board of Regents, at the urging of then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, tried to fire her before she even taught her first class,” an article published on the University of California website explained.
Fortunately, Davis had so much support that the governor’s desires to keep her out of the classroom was no match for the public’s desire to get her in.
“But enraged UCLA faculty, staff and students protested in support of Davis, citing academic freedom,” the website continues. “A lawsuit also was later filed in Davis’ defense.”
Those different political affiliations give Davis a unique perspective that Berry has been adamant about portraying since 2011 when she first unveiled the idea to Jet Magazine.
“I’ll probably never get to play it in my life and I am going to be sad until the day I die, but I really want to play Angela Davis badly,” she told Jet. “So badly. I just think she’s fascinating and I think I would love to tell a story from her perspective about that time in our history and what it was all about with the Black Panthers.”
While it may be Berry’s “passion project” social media users haven’t been too keen on the idea of Berry taking on the role.
So far there has not been a massive social media whirlwind condemning the idea or any trending hashtags bashing the potential project, but many users have shared links about the story with simple suggestions that they are far from interested.
“We good,” one user wrote.
Another person responded with a simple, “Nah” and others went with sentiments like, “Yikes.”
A series of other short responses such as “God no,” “Ehh,” “Nope,” “Oh Sis! Sit…,” “Let’s not,” “HELL no” and “#ByeFelicia” have also been posted as responses to the idea.
It’s a sign that while social media may not be too fired up about the idea right now, any signs that the project would actually come to fruition could spark the type of social media outrage that might get Berry dislodged from her own Davis biopic idea—if she were inclined to pay attention to it.