“I got a sh-t load of money that changed my life.”
Halle Berry’s acclaimed 20-year-acting career has been marked by several accolades, most notably the Oscar for Monster’s Ball in 2002. But just a year after that, she played Catwoman, which was a total bomb. (She still won the Razzie for that performance, and brilliantly recreated her Oscar acceptance speech for it, while holding her Oscar.)
Berry opened up about her career highs and lows as she accepted the 2018 Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communication on Monday in New York.
The actress revealed she was terrified to play Leticia in Monster’s Ball because of the “explicit” sex scene. “When I read that script as a young artist, I was scared to death,” she told the crowd. “But I knew that this was a role that could change my life and help me reach that dream that I longed for since I was a little girl.”
Berry won her first-ever Academy Award for Monster’s Ball in 2002, and a year later she starred in Catwoman, which many considered a commercial flop. But for Berry, it was a career-defining moment that she wouldn’t trade for the world.
“Everybody around me said, ‘Girl, don’t do it. It’s going to be the death of you. It’s going to end your career.’ But guess what I did? I followed my intuition and I did a movie called Catwoman and it bombed miserably,” she said. “While it failed to most people, it wasn’t a failure for me because I met so many interesting people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, I learned two forms of martial arts and I learned not what to do.”
Also? She made “a shit load of money that changed my life.”
She continued: “I say that to say, following your intuition doesn’t always mean you’re going to be successful or win the prize but it means you’re always going to learn the exact lesson or get the exact accolades or the exact check that you’re supposed to get for yourself. Never compare that to anyone else.”
This article originally appeared on elle.com