Halle Berry makes her directorial debut in Bruised, a new film telling the story of how a disgraced former mixed martial arts fighter and single mother stages a comeback. She also plays the lead role of the film, in character Jackie Justice.
As part of process to understand the role, Berry spoke with a number of MMA fighters and spent months training various gyms. In the film, Justice's rival Lady Killer is played by UFC fighter Valentina Shevchenko, with whom Berry prepared for two years in preparation for the film.
Of her scars while making the film, she told Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim that on the second day of shooting she got "kicked and broke two ribs."
"And, you know, there was a moment when I thought: We can shut this down and I can go heal, or I can keep going and just fight my way through it. And I had to sit with myself and think. O.K., Valentina and I have trained two years for this movie. She may never have another window. If I lose the funding now, I may never get the money again. This could all go away. And I’ve worked too hard. So I thought, I’m not going to tell anybody this happened. Get through the fight. And then tell them."
Berry, referring to her decision to continue filming through injury, said that, "I was so in that zone, in that world of being a fighter, mentally and emotionally. The fighter in me stood up and said: You just have to keep going, take some Advil and tough your way through it."
The film debuts in theaters on Wednesday and on Netflix on Nov. 24,
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