MOTHER OF A JOB
In the sci-fi thriller Extant, Halle Berry plays the mum of a robot but still she finds similarities between that and her real-life mothering role
In a recent episode of sci-fi drama Extant, robot child Ethan had his first nightmare. It was something the “Humanich” droid wasn’t yet programmed to do. It humanised the child in the eyes of his mother, Molly.
Halle Berry, who plays Molly, can relate to that.
“Having two children who are so very human helps me get in touch with my humanity on a daily basis. I struggle with whether a robot would evoke the same kinds of feelings from me,” Berry says.
“My daughter just had a nightmare ... and she’s saying, ‘Mummy, no. No, no’. I say, ‘Honey, what is it?’
“She says, ‘Mummy, there’s two cupcakes. There’s a purple one and a pink one. You are eating the pink one and you know I want it! Mummy, no!’ I realised she was having a nightmare ... but I was relieved it was about cupcakes.
“I’m not so sure a robot would do that. I’m not sure if a robot can dream for real! But that is one of the gems, one of the jewels of what motherhood is all about.” Molly has a second child in
Extant – the one she became impregnated with while in space. That “child” was last seen in a specimen jar, somehow compelling a space scientist to kill his colleague.
An “event” series produced by sci-fi luminary Steven Spielberg, Extant is the creation of TV first-timer Mickey Fisher.
“When Steven Spielberg came along, a name like that you don’t really sneeze at, and I know the quality of his work and I know that he loves this sort of genre,” Berry says.
“These supernatural kind of stories are right in his wheelhouse.”
Fisher admits Molly is the first complex female character he’s ever managed to write, but reckons Berry took it to another level.
“She brings so much emotional truth to it, she can take any scene and find something real and make it thrilling to watch,” Fisher says.
Extant, Channel 10, Wednesday, 9.40pm.
Halle Berry in Extant.