What Oscar Gold Means for Black Nominees

Berry said she thinks Washington is picking up where Poitier left off. "Sidney sort of handed him the ball," she said.

"I'm always one that likes to look at the upside vs. the downside, and I think things are changing," Berry said. "Absolutely."

Berry said she felt like a winner when she was given the lead in Monster's Ball opposite Billy Bob Thornton. The romance between a white man and a black woman is the kind of love story Hollywood wouldn't have touched even 10 years ago.

"It's been my goal in life to have people just love each other for who they are," Berry said. "And in this movie, these two people who, for all practical purposes, would never be together have to come together through their commonality of a real human emotion, which is pain, and their need for love. That brings these two people together."

The movie's theme is that people are people, no matter what color they are.

"Love is love, and if you open your heart up to it, you'll find it sometimes in the oddest packages," Berry said.

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