May 15, 2001 -- Halle Berry's nude sunbathing scene in the upcoming hacker flick Swordfish came at a precious price — $250,000 per breast, to be exact.
Swordfish director Domenic Sena had originally pursued Coyote Ugly vixen Bridget Moynahan to portray the female agent who blows her cover — literally — but ended up pursuing Berry when Moynahan was booked.
Berry, who built her credibility with an award-winning performance in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, at first resisted the topless scene. However, she succumbed when the studio offered her a $500,000 bonus, Sena tells the New York Daily News.
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The actress surprises hacker (and X-Men co-star) Hugh Jackman, who arrives while she's sunning herself sans bikini top. "Maybe you don't want to see me naked," Berry once told MSNBC, "but it is not about that. It's about what I want and whether this role will challenge me." Uh, yeah.
Berry's $2.5 million portrayal is her biggest paycheck yet, but that's not silencing early criticism of her performance. Gossip columnist Jeannie Williams says she was "dismayed" by Berry's "unnecessary" disrobing, describing the movie as a lame thriller that "skids downhill."
Swordfish, which stars a slimmed-down John Travolta as a psychotic spy, hits theaters June 8.
Reuters contributed to this story.