Halle Berry made her directorial debut with Bruised, but the 55-year-old actress explained in a new profile for the New York Times that she has been unknowingly preparing for her role in the film her whole life.
"I understood who this character of Jackie Justice was and where she came from," Berry told writer Salamishah Tillet. "I loved it because fighting is something that I just know so much about on a personal level and on a career level. I understand what it is to fight and not be heard. I understand the trauma of life that makes one want to fight, need to fight, have to fight."
Jackie Justice is a disgraced MMA fighter making a desperate attempt at a comeback, all while fighting to provide for her estranged six-year-old son. The role was initially floated to Blake Lively, who passed, before Berry claimed it.
As Tillet described, Berry endured up to six hours of intense training per day, and on the screen, Jackie's "eyes are constantly swollen, her lips bleeding, and she wears baggy pants and braids without a hint of glamour."
"This is another battle I fought my whole life," the Oscar winner noted. "That because I look a certain way that I’ve been spared any hardship. I've had loss and pain and a lot of hurt in my life. I've had abuse in my life. I get really frustrated when people think because I look a certain way that I haven’t had any of those real-life experiences because I absolutely have. ... This hasn’t spared me one heartbreak or heartache or fearful or tearful moment, trust me."
Berry has previously been outspoken about the domestic violence she has suffered, and she has more recently touched on the misconceptions made about her based upon age, gender and race while gracing the cover of Entertainment Weekly last month:
.@halleberry has fought her way to the top of the entertainment world! Ahead of her directorial debut, #Bruised, she sounds off about fame, aging, and speaking truth to Hollywood. https://t.co/mtlvdgX1RX Story by @Leahbats pic.twitter.com/f3ZM0Ialuc— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 10, 2021
“I had to fight to be a director, like I had to fight to have a second act.” Despite success, @halleberry has had to prove herself over and over in Hollywood. With new movie #Bruised, she’s taking on directing and finding a new voice.— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 10, 2021
Our cover story: https://t.co/mtlvdgX1RX pic.twitter.com/pVAUE7C2DF
Bruised is set for a Nov. 17 theatrical release and Netflix release the following week.