Oct 05, 2012 12:53PM

Halle Berry Is A Superior Human Specimen

"Just do you, that's what I tell women all the time."

Halle Berry is gifted and gorgeous. The stunning 46-year-old is the first African American actress to win a Best Actress Oscar and one of only two Bond girls to ever win an Academy award — Kim Basinger was the other. The work ethic that would propel her to fame was formed at an early age.

"All of my high school years I struggled to be somebody I was not. I struggled to prove that I was as good as, as smart as, I was as pretty as, I could do everything everybody else could do and then I worked really hard to do it better."

Ironically, over-achieving at Bedford High School in Ohio — class president, newspaper editor and captain of the cheerleading squad — lead to the movie business.

"I just did not want to go to college," she laughs. "I worked so hard in high school to be Miss Everything that I was burned out at 17 and so I had to go do something else."

That something else now spans a 23-year career that encompasses both critical acclaim and box office clout. Despite the professional success she's philosophical about her personal disappointments.

"Every time you make a choice that somehow plummets you into a valley of some sort — which I have done throughout my life — you're there for a reason."

"It's about learning something and as long as you get the lesson and you learn from it, then you pick yourself up and you keep going."

With her unlucky-in-love past seemingly behind her Berry is embracing love — with fiancé Olivier Martinez — and life.

"As long as you live it on your own terms, stand up for who you are, you live with integrity and your energy is more about love and not hatred then you're on the right path."

"Just do you, that's what I tell women all the time. Do you, don't try to do me, do you, be the best you that you can be."

Debra Darby 

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