LOS ANGELES - Her beauty trumps many a starlet in youth-obsessed Hollywood but Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, at age 40, is preparing to go where few top actresses would dare.
Berry is going bald.
The actress, whose roles include sexy secret agent Jinx in the James Bond flick "Die Another Day," is shaving her brunette locks for a new movie that could start shooting as soon as this summer, Berry told reporters late on Wednesday.
"I'm going to shave my head bald. I can't believe it," she said.
Berry will shed her hair for a romantic comedy which she said is currently titled "Nappily Ever After."
The star plays a woman whose hair is starting to fall out, so she decides to shave it all. Afterward, she must deal with people's perceptions of who she is and how her hair defined her.
Berry said her character "is forced to look at what beauty is, and it comes from inside."
"I still struggle with this hair issue," she said. "I'm going to get the lesson on film, and hopefully other women will get it, too."
Her plan is to shave her real hair on film and not fake it by wearing a cap. But it will be more than a year before moviegoers will see Berry go bald because a new draft of "Nappily Ever After" was only recently completed.
For now, Berry is starring in the thriller "Perfect Stranger," which debuts across the United States on April 13. She plays a news reporter caught up in a murder investigation.
The star, who won her Oscar for best actress playing a down-on-her-luck waitress in 2001's "Monster's Ball," said that at age 40, life is better than ever.
Twice-divorced Berry is now dating model Gabriel Aubry, who is 10 years her junior.
"I'm really happy. I'm in a really good space in my life, and I can honestly say it's not because of any one thing," she said. "It's not because I have a really cute boyfriend. It's not because of my career. It's because I feel good about me."
Berry said she feels more self-assured and confident with her sexuality now than when she was younger.
"As I've gotten older, I've become more comfortable with who I really am -- all parts of me -- knowing that my physical self doesn't diminish me in any way, or my talent," she said.
Nor, for that matter, does her hair.