When Halle Berry sat down to read the screenplay for “Kidnap” a few years back the Oscar-winning actress and mother of two felt an immediate connection to its terrifying premise.
“I couldn’t think of anything worse than to see your child snatched, close enough to you to see, but too far to do anything about it,” Berry said during an interview at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles At Beverly Hills. “It seemed like the unthinkable.”
So Berry, who soon decided not just to star in the movie but be one of its executive producers, too, read on.
“I kind of knew she’d save the day, because nobody’s going to watch a movie where the kid gets kidnapped and doesn’t come back,” she said. “Like, that’s a downer.
“So I knew she would save the day, but I was very interested in how, and would it feel plausible,” Berry said. “How would she does this, and who would help her, and what the journey would be?
“As I read along I got more and more excited because I realized, ‘Oh, this is an everyday mom who finds a hero inside herself.’
“And I think every mom, and parent, would do the same thing,” Berry said. “They would rise to that level.”
While that premise – what would a parent do to save their child? – isn’t unknown, the way in which it’s handled in “Kidnap” in several ways is. After Berry’s character, Karla, sees her son Frankie, played by Sage Correa, dragged into a stranger’s car she gives pursuit, hanging onto the car until the kidnappers shake her off – which causes her to lose her cell phone in the tumble – and then giving pursuit in her minivan.
From that simple set-up the chase is on, Berry desperately trying to catch the people who took her boy, the movie focusing on her in almost every frame as she talks out loud to Frankie, to God, to the kidnappers while a never-ending car chase from New Orleans into the surrounding countryside takes place.
“It was a different acting exercise,” Berry said. “Not having a scene partner to bounce off, not having someone to help me tell the story. When I read it I remember thinking talking to yourself can either work or not, that’s a very tricky thing to do.”
She said some of it came naturally.
“I pray to God and when I pray to God it’s always out loud,” Berry said. “So those scenes were OK. It’s the scenes where I was talking to my son and he wasn’t there. I can’t think of the last time I spoke to one of my kids and they weren’t there….