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How Halle Berry Became An Astronaut

The Oscar-winning actress takes flight on the Steven Spielberg-produced series ”Extant”

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On CBS’ Extant, Halle Berry plays an astronaut who returns from a solo space mission to discover she’s mysteriously pregnant. (Did we mention that she’s already mom to a robot son at home?) The 47-year-old, who had a son herself last October, reveals how she braced for summer-TV liftoff.

1. Accepting The Mission
”I thought the show was something different for me as an actor and was different for television. At the core of it there’s a very strong, complicated female character that I was inspired by.”

2. Completing Her Training
”I did the best I could to prepare myself. I’ve talked to astronauts. I’ve watched videotapes of people in space. I went on a zero-g flight to experience zero gravity for myself to get that feeling in my body — to assimilate that for once we started to shoot.”

3. Handling New Technology
”[Having a robot son] starts to beckon the question, Can we love robots if they are real? Can robots actually become human? What is love, and can you teach a robot to love? If you think of where the future is going, this could be a reality.”

4. Reporting To Mission Control
”When [executive producer Steven Spielberg] comes to the set, everybody just freezes, like God has landed. Everybody is just in awe. The molecules in the air change, and everybody gets weird.”

5. Acclimating To An Alien Environment
”TV shoots at a pace that’s backbreaking. I can’t tell you how much respect I have for actors in this medium. For me to shoot while nursing a newborn baby has been a rude awakening.”