Talking about her role in Cloud Atlas, which is opening today, Halle Berry says she believes in the theory of cause and effect

The beautiful Halle Berry is back on the big screen with Cloud Atlas, the sci fi epic directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer. The 164-minute film follows multiple stories across time with the cast playing different characters. Halle plays five characters including a white German woman. In this email interview, the Oscar winning Bond babe (for different movies!) talks of the challenges of her role and the joy of working with Tom Hanks, Tykwer and the Wachowskis.

What drew you to the role?

Cloud Atlas is a film that came with many challenges. I am playing multiple characters in the film which I haven’t done before. And it was also an opportunity for me to work with great directors like Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer. Before Cloud Atlas, I had not got a chance to work with Tom Hanks. Cloud Atlas gave me so many opportunities that I had no reason to turn it down.

What was the experience of working with Hanks, The Wachowskis and Tykwer like?

It was amazing. When I signed the film, people were a little sceptical about my decision as the film has three directors. But they have done such a magnificent job, you’ll agree when you see the film. Working with Tom Hanks was a learning experience for me. He is such a wonderful actor. I think I have improvised a little.

Can you tell us something about your role?

I am playing multiple roles. In one story I play a Spanish woman and in the other, a German. Each role connects to the other. It’s one of the most interesting concepts I’ve heard and worked on.

Any memorable moments?

I have to talk of this one. Once I was in my white German woman makeup, and I was standing near the coffee machine. Tom Hanks came to me and just said ‘Hi’. I replied, ‘Hi, Tom’. And he was so surprised. He could not recognize me. A similar thing happened when Lana and Andy’s mother was on the set. I spoke to her while I was in my white woman makeup and then I left as the shot was ready. After I left, Lana’s mother said, ‘She seems like a nice actress. Who is she?’ and when they told her that it was me, she could not believe it.

Do you subscribe to Cloud Atlas’s theory of cause and effect?

Absolutely. I think that everything I do, every decision I make will have an effect on my daughter and maybe on her children too. It is all connected. I do believe that I must have done something in my previous life that today I get to do what I love.

From Bond girl to Oscar winner to Cloud Atlas. How has the journey been this far?

The journey has been great. With every new film there was a new learning. And I’m hoping that it will continue.

What is next on the anvil?

My film The Hive is set to release in 2013. And there are a few others in the pipeline.