Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Smooth operator By Madeleine Marr

Halle Berry gains respect for emergency call takers

  • Print

MIAMI -- A 911 operator may be one of the most underappreciated jobs out there. But maybe not after The Call, which opens Friday.

Halle Berry plays Jordan Turner, a veteran worker at the so-called Hive call centre in Los Angeles, who has to keep an even keel trying to save an abducted teenager (Abigail Breslin) locked in a trunk with a cellphone.

The Oscar winner (Monster's Ball) was at the Mandarin Oriental Miami Hotel to talk about the thriller.

Q: How did you think the movie came out?

A: Much of the filming I wasn't there for. I was in the call centre most of the time so I missed what they were doing. I could only imagine, but, wow, I was even scared! It turned out better than I thought. It was shot in just 20 days. It was shot as fast as it plays.

Q: How did you get involved with this project?

A: They came to me about two years before filming, but I wasn't able to do it because I had other obligations. I kept thinking they were going to go with someone else. I didn't want them to. Luckily for me, they waited. Then they said, 'What do you think of Morris Chestnut as your love (interest?' I said, 'Yes, please!'

Q: What kind of prep work did you have to do?

A: You get a different perspective by doing research. I think we both did. That's part of our job ... to find the truth in it. You can't know what it's like to be a cop even though you've seen it in the movies. But nobody ever saw a 911 centre. I thought they lived in the ground somewhere! It was interesting to see who they were and how they deal and how stressful it can be. I was a wreck (watching them). They would just be as cool as can be doing their thing. I thought, 'I could never do this job.'

Q: So you have a new respect for the profession now, right?

A: Yes. They are who you call first. They are integral in the process. I take my hat off to them. The way they can stay so detached but are human. And people call for the dumbest thing, like, 'I can't get my cable to work!' Or they call drunk: 'I'm trying to get to my house, and I'm lost!' They have to deal with those kind of calls as well as real emergencies.

Q: Have you had any personal experiences with phoning 911?

A: I had a break-in (in 2011) and they let me hear a callback. The thing I remember the woman kept saying is 'Ma'am, be quiet!' And what I kept saying is, 'Thank God my daughter's not here, thank God my daughter's not here.' At one point I had to put my hand over my mouth. I couldn't stop talking out of my fear. I couldn't shut up.

Q: Does your daughter (four-year-old Nahla) know how to dial 911?

A: I have a CD to play at home that teaches kids what to say and what to do. We do a little drill. This movie woke me up.

-- The Miami Herald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2013 D6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Exclusive architectural tour of CMHR with Antoine Predock

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.
  • Bright sunflowers lift their heads toward the south east skies in a  large sunflower field on Hwy 206 and #1 Thursday Standup photo. July 31,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Scottish independence referendum will have an effect in Canada?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google