By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News
As Oscars season starts to descend on Hollywood, one actress will not be spending too much time thinking about the ceremony.
Halle Berry plays a grieving widow in Things We Lost in The Fire
Halle Berry, who became the first African-American to win the best actress Oscar in 2002, did not feature in the shortlist this year after a superb performance in her latest film, Things We Lost in The Fire.
She stars opposite fellow Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro as troubled widow Audrey Burke.
But, speaking before the nominations were announced, the 41-year-old insisted the awards were not on her mind.
"I only think about it when someone asks me about it," she said.
"I'm just hoping that people will go and see the movie and walk away with something on their mind. Walk away talking about the themes of the movie, hopefully it will move them," she added.
Things We Lost in The Fire explores grief, drug abuse and true love.
Benicio Del Toro plays alongside Berry as a drug addict
It contains some very moving scenes, but Berry insisted reducing the audience to tears was not what she was hoping for.
"I don't think when you're making a movie you go for 'right, let's hope they cry'," she said.
"I think you go for, 'Let's be honest and truthful and let's bring these characters to life in a way that is organic and real and honest.'
"I think those are the things we thought about."
Berry wanted the part right from the start. Originally, her role had been written with a white American family in mind, but she covinced Danish director Susanne Bier over coffee that she should have the part.
Berry was the first African-American to win the best actress Oscar in 2002
"Halle came in and it took me probably about four seconds to decide," recalled Bier.
"I told Halle, 'I'm not going to deal with you being a woman of colour, however you put that.
"'It's not of interest and it's not relevant in this movie. So, let's just talk about the part.'"
Berry added: "I don't think it should matter what the colour of one's skin is. I think it's really important to me to be part of movies that reflect the modern society.
"In modern times we are mixing races and having families and loving each other. I'm of a mixed race family so it's very normal for me."
Berry has been outspoken about racism in Hollywood, but thinks winning her Oscar six years ago represented a positive change.
"Before me there was no me, and now there is me and I think there's been other people of colour - Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Fox, Will Smith - that show up at those award shows every year. So I'm hopeful that things are starting to change," she said.
But Berry found herself apologising last year over a joke she made on US TV host Jay Leno's show, when she said a distorted photo of herself with a huge nose made her look like her "Jewish cousin".
She conceded the remark could have been "offensive".
But when asked whether she was surprised at the reaction her comments generated, she refused to be drawn on the subject.
"I already said everything I need to say on that," she said.
Things We Lost in the Fire is released in UK cinemas on Friday.