'Moonfall' 's Halle Berry Acknowledges 'This Thing Called Mom Guilt,' But Says, 'I Fight Against That'

“I'm not so sure men feel it as quite deeply as we feel it as women,” the Oscar-winning actress tells PEOPLE of mom guilt

Halle Berry soars to new heights in her latest movie Moonfall as the head of NASA.

In real life, NASA named its first Black female director — Vanessa E. Wyche — as the head of its Johnson Space Center in July 2021.

"This role was really written for a man and probably a white man," Berry, 55, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue of the part created by director and writer Roland Emmerich (Independence Day). "So to put a Black woman in that role was really important to me. That was one of the things that really inspired me about playing this character, because I know how important those kinds of role models and images were in film and television when I was little. They helped me dream."

Reiner Bajo/Lionsgate

The film sees Berry's character decide between finding shelter with her son or blasting off into space to help save the planet after the moon's orbital shift threatens its destruction. Though her real-life choices don't usually impact earth's survival, the mom of daughter Nahla, 13, and son Maceo, 8, (from previous relationships) understands making tough calls between family and career.

"I do find it's sometimes hard to leave them and go away and do my job," Berry, currently dating musician Van Hunt, says. "And there's this thing called mom guilt. I'm not so sure men feel it as quite deeply as we feel it as women, but I fight against that because I want my children to grow and know that they can be parents and they can have careers that they love at the same time."

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Loving her job makes it easier for Berry to step away from her kids to film.

"I'm a single mom and I'm a working mother — the breadwinner in my family — and so working is very much what I have to do, but it's also what I love to do," she says. "So when I have to go away to work, I make a point of letting my children know, 'Yes, I'm going because I have to afford our life, but I also love what I'm doing.'"

The Oscar winner acknowledges that work-life balance may not always be attainable. "I do try to find the balance, realizing that I always am not going to have a balance," she says. "I have to choose one or the other and I do that very regularly. It's not always easy, but they're necessary."

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The actress earned major mom points with her son for working on Moonfall since she says Maceo "is very interested in space and in science."

"He loves to dream and wonder about what's out there in the world," Berry continues. "He is going to flip out when he gets to see that I play an astronaut and I get to go to space. He's already told me, 'Mom, you know there's other forms of life in the universe. It's not just us. You do know this right?'"


As for whether Berry believes in other life forms, "I'm positive we're not here by ourselves," she says. "I don't think as the human species we can be arrogant enough to think that we are it. I just don't think we are."

Berry doesn't plan to actually blast off anytime soon to find out, though. "If I didn't have these two small children that were depending and relying on me so much, that might be a really interesting thing to do," she says of taking a possible citizen space flight. "But that's just not really a risk I think I would take today. Maybe 20 years from now."

Moonfall, also starring Patrick Wilson, is in theaters now.

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