By EW Staff
Updated January 10, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Halle Berry: Daniela Federici

Why Halle Berry is on the new A list

AGE 34

WHY SHE’S A-LIST Berry bookended 2002 with monumental achievements: To begin with, she won a historic Best Actress Oscar for ”Monster’s Ball,” and to close it out, she goosed the 007 franchise back to life (to the tune of $146 million and counting) in ”Die Another Day.” Her Jinx may become the first Bond babe to have her own spinoff; in fact, Bond studio MGM is banking on Berry with about four upcoming movies. Her asking price, reportedly in the $5 million-$10 million range, makes her the highest-paid African-American actress in the business.

WHAT’S NEXT She’ll swoop into the multiplex as Storm in ”X-Men 2” on May 2. Currently in production is a remake of boxing drama ”The Set-Up” with Benjamin Bratt. In March, she’ll shoot the horror thriller ”Gothika” with Penélope Cruz. After that, of the seven or eight other projects she has in the works, she’s likely to shoot either the drama ”Need,” the potential mystery franchise launcher ”The Guide,” or a remake of ”Foxy Brown.” And, occasionally, she’ll stop to eat and sleep.