Halle Berry stood up to now-disgraced director Bryan Singer while filming X2: X-Men United. Co-star Alan Cumming, who played Nightcrawler, detailed an incident in which Singer was berating the film’s cast in his new book, Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life. On the other hand, Berry did not take it lightly, telling him that he was welcome to “kiss my Black ass.”
Singer reportedly suffered from “mood swings, paranoia, and tantrums” and would occasionally vanish from the set for hours at a time, leaving the crew, actors, and stunt team to fend for themselves. The altercation occurred when the actors staged an intervention out of concern for their personal safety and health during the production.
Cumming, Berry, and co-stars Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, and Famke Janssen confronted Singer separately from the rest of the production team prior to the altercation. Berry “spoke movingly of people she had known with drug issues,” Cumming’s book notes, but he was livid that he was being singled out.
“You people … are full of fucking shit!” Singer reportedly said to everyone before doubling down. Cumming added that Singer went on to say that “none of us had ever made a decent film” and that they “were lucky to be working with him.”
“I’ve heard enough,” Berry replied. “You can kiss my Black ass.”
Eventually, filming was paused, and despite the presence of legal counsel, the cast stated that they were told to persevere and complete the film.
Singer has stated to The Hollywood Reporter that “nothing like that ever happened,” however Berry has previously discussed her experiences on the set of X-Men.
“I would sometimes be very angry with him,” she said to Variety. “I got into a few fights with him, said a few cuss words out of sheer frustration. When I work, I’m serious about that. And when that gets compromised, I get a little nutty. But at the same time, I have a lot of compassion for people who are struggling with whatever they’re struggling with, and Bryan struggles.”
“Sometimes, because of whatever he’s struggling with, he just didn’t always feel present,” she continued. “He didn’t feel there. And we’re outside in our little X-Men stage, freezing our ass off in Banff, Canada, with subzero weather, and he’s not focusing. And we’re freezing. You might get a little mad.”