If the Academy Awards celebrate the best of what Hollywood has to offer each year, the Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Awards take a distinct pleasure in celebrating the worst. On February 26, 2005, the Razzies held their 25th annual ceremony at Hollywood’s historic Ivar Theatre. Making a surprise appearance was Halle Berry, an Oscar winner for Best Actress in Monster’s Ball (2001), who showed up to accept that year’s Razzie for Worst Actress for the title role in the poorly received action extravaganza Catwoman.
Created in 1981 by John Wilson as a cynical counterpoint to the Oscars, the Razzies–named for the disapproving gesture known as “blowing a raspberry”–traditionally release their nominations one day before Academy nominations are announced and hand out their awards on the night before the Oscar ceremony. The actual Razzie statuette, which the organization itself values at under $5, is a “RAZZberry” about the size of a golf ball, perched atop a smashed, gold-painted Super-8 film reel.
At the 2005 ceremony, Catwoman led the pack of nominated films, earning seven nominations (including one for Worst Film)–one more than Oliver Stone’s epic Alexander. In a show of humor and humility, Berry shocked everyone by coming onstage at the Ivar Theatre to accept her statuette for Worst Actress. Grasping her cheap Razzie in one hand and her Academy Award in the other, she made a lengthy speech (which she later admitted to have spent two days working on) that parodied her 2002 Oscar acceptance speech. “It was just what my career needed,” she claimed. “I was at the top and now I’m at the bottom.”
Perhaps understandably, Razzie winners rarely show up to claim their awards. Ben Affleck, a winner for 2003’s Gigli, went so far as to smash his Razzie when Wilson presented it to him during Affleck’s appearance on Larry King Live in March 2004. Affleck had previously said he felt “stiffed” by the Razzie awards committee, claiming that it failed to send him his statuette for Worst Actor. (Gigli had become the first movie ever to sweep all six major Razzie categories.)
Berry was joined at the Razzies by Catwoman screenwriter Michael Ferris, who accepted the award for Worst Screenplay (for a script he co-wrote with Theresa Rebeck, John Brancato and John Rogers).