Halle Berry‘s character, Karla, is on an adrenaline-fueled mission to get her child back in Kidnap — and Berry knows exactly where she’s coming from.
Sitting down for The Jess Cagle Interview video series with PEOPLE’s editor-in-chief, Halle Berry opened up about her new movie and what it’s like being a real-life mother to her children—daughter Nahla, 9, and son Maceo, 3.
“In Kidnap, I play a mother, Karla Dyson, and the unthinkable happens to this mother… She sees her child snatched right in front of her, too close to do anything about it,” the star, 50, says of her latest film, an action-packed thriller.
“Like every red-blooded mother, or parent, she just starts moving off instinct, chases this car, and just proves not to stop,” she says.
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This oh-my-God-where-is-my-child feeling is familiar to Berry, who has been a parent for nearly a decade. Recounting one such moment of terror, Berry describes once losing her daughter Nahla in a department store when she was 2. “It was one of the worst moments of my life. I was looking at a price tag, and she was there, and then all of a sudden she wasn’t.”
Watch the full episode of The Jess Cagle Interview with Halle Berry on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network starting Aug. 9! Download the PEN app on your favorite device or go to PEOPLE.com/PEN.
Berry did not take this development calmly. “It’s just sheer terror when your child is gone … And I’m like, ‘Awww! Stop! Shut the doors!’ I’m like, ‘Everybody stop! My kid’s gone.’ They shut the doors.”
As it turns out most of the time, little Nahla was not far away. “And there she was, a foot away from me, under the turnstile. That’s when your heart stops as a mom.”
For Berry’s character in Kidnap, though, it’s not so easy. As Berry says, Karla “cannot stop until she has saved her son … I think every mother will relate to that.”
Kidnap is in theaters now.