National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Actress Halle Berry Talks about Her New Movie, Frankie & Alice, Mental Illness and Hope in NAMI Interview
ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Actress Halle Berry appears on the cover of the latest issue of The Advocate, the magazine of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), with an interview inside about her upcoming film, Frankie & Alice, which will be re-released April 4, 2014 by Lionsgate and Codeblack Films.
Based on a true story, Berry plays Frankie Murdoch, an African American '70s-era go-go dancer living with dissociative identity disorder (DID). She is challenged by two identities: a scared 7-year old girl named Genius and a bigoted, white southern belle named Alice.
Besides giving Berry "the opportunity to embrace a challenging, complex role" as an actress, the film is important to her because it "helps put light into a dark space," she explains in the NAMI interview.
For full interview, please see www.nami.org/berryinterview.
"People who live with mental illness often struggle. Others look down on them or have negative opinions of them. Hopefully this film will do some good. It promotes the importance of compassion for others [and] helps educate the public."
"My main message is one of hope."
Berry's passion for the role of Frankie was influenced by her mother, who worked for 35 years as a psychiatric nurse for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
"Stories of mental illness have been a part of my life and on my radar for a long time."
She also reflects in the interview about possible connections between creativity and mental illness: "Within my industry I have come across some of the most complicated individuals who are highly creative who have on some level suffered from mental illness."
DID is a condition in which two or more distinct personalities control an individual's behavior at different times. Once called multiple personality disorder, it frequently is the result of severe stress or trauma, such as incest or rape and serves as a coping mechanism. It includes a high rate of suicidality and affects women nine times more often than men.
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.