Halle Berry Vogue 2010 September cover purple velvet Ralph Lauren gown

Berry graces Vogue's September issue in a velvet Ralph Lauren gown. Photo: Mario Testino for Vogue

It's been three years since Halle Berry has granted a formal interview, but when Vogue asked her to be on its storied September cover, she couldn't say no.

In the resulting intimate profile of the 44-year-old stunner and mother of adorable 2-year-old Nahla, Vogue's Jonathan Van Meter follows Berry around in her daily life -- from her grueling five-days-a-week workouts with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson (she insists she doesn't like working out, but does so to keep her diabetes in check) to a dinner party at her weekend home in Malibu to the domestic abuse center with which she's involved.

Opposite Van Meter's profile is a gorgeous photo shoot in which the actress dons a bobbed wig, long velvet gowns by Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Escada, and stunning jewels by Lorraine Schwartz, Stephen Russell, and Fred Leighton, all adding up to a slightly 1920s luxe effect.

Aside from her upcoming projects -- including three new movies, a Broadway play, her third fragrance for Coty, and a unisex sports drink for GNC that she and Peterson are working on -- Berry dishes to Vogue about her much publicized breakup with Nahla's Calvin Klein model father, Gabriel Aubry.

"By the time it hit the papers -- full of rumors and lies, with people having to make up problems between us -- Gabriel and I had long dealt with it. We were done. And we were on a good foot, and we had decided what we were going to do for Nahla," she says.

"There is no discord, there is no fighting. So it came and went. Now we are back to how it was before: living apart, raising our daughter. It's just that you realize you are not meant to go the distance with everybody. We were meant to bring this amazing little person into the world."

Halle Berry Vogue 2010 September issue purple velvet Ralph Lauren gown

Berry-licious. Halle proves that purple still reigns. Photo: Mario Testino for Vogue

Speaking of Nahla, Berry says the public's interest in her daughter is unsettling, so much so that she is renting a house in San Francisco and considering moving to the city full time to escape the paparazzi that are so rampant in Hollywood.

Other article highlights include a tour through Berry's sexually themed art collection (including a picture of her pregnant and naked on a beach) and an explanation of the workout move that helped her lose her post-baby "pouch."

For more of Berry's interview, head over to Vogue.com and pick up the September issue on newsstands Aug. 24.

In related news, read which other over-40 stars are gracing the covers of the coveted September issues.