Imagine you're a 911 call center operator, working in one of the most stressful jobs in the country, struggling to remain calm as you dispatch first-responders to emergencies and talk down injured or terrified callers as they wait for help.
Now imagine doing all that with Halle Berry looking over your shoulder.
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That's the situation some dispatchers faced when Berry showed up to do some real-life research for her role in The Call, the story of a 911 operator who has to confront a killer from her past in order to save one of her callers, opening Friday, March 15.
"It was just a world that was completely fascinating, to meet the people and see who they are," Berry told New Times, noting the high skill requirements for the job. "They asked me once to take a real call, but I felt like when people call 911, they don't want to get an actress on the phone. I didn't want to do that."
Even as a 911 Dispatcher, Halle Berry Still Won't Answer Your Calls
The Call: Starring Halle Berry, Evie Thompson, and Abigail Breslin. Directed by Brad Anderson. Written by Richard D'Ovidio. Rated R.
She's under enough press ure as it is. "My stress is heightened now that I've become a mother. I think I was dealing with it just fine until she came along," Berry said. "Now, a little, innocent person has been thrust in the middle of dealing with a mom who has to deal with celebrity. It's been put upon her in a way that's kind of stressed me out."
And the high-intensity thriller she's starring in isn't exactly a day at the spa. But it's all for a good cause. "I hope women leave here and feel really good about who we are," she says. "We don't often get to see women in strong roles — I mean, we do, but we see men in these roles far more. I hope women will go and have a sense of pride in this."