Halle Berry’s new film Bruised is an importance work for the Oscar winner. Through the film she has been checking off several boxes for herself. It is her directorial debut. It’s also her first time producing a film soundtrack, something she partnered with Cardi B to do. Also she says the movie gave her an opportunity to shift the narrative and focus from her beauty to her actually acting, since she plays a MMA fighter and is disfigured for parts of the film. Bruised follows Berry’s character Jackie Justice. The retired MMA fighter decides to come back to the ring to face off against a top female MMA fighter in an unsanctioned bout while also dealing with the unexpected return of her 6-year-old son, whom she gave up for adoption as an infant.
Reviews have been mostly positive, with Deadline Hollywood saying “there is no question Berry has thrown it all against the wall with this one and acquitted herself admirably, not just as you might expect acting-wise from the Oscar-winning star of Monster’s Ball but also behind the camera. She keenly navigates a female-driven story of a disgraced MMA fighting superstar trying to claw her way back to the top while putting the pieces of her shattered personal life back together.”
Berry’s commitment to the role and all that came with it was most clearly present in her ability to shoot while having broken ribs. Berry said she knew something was wrong on day 2 of shooting but did not want to stop filming. “I knew if I told (producers) this happened, they would shut down and I would probably lose my funding. I just willed myself to do it,” she says. “I took a bunch of Advil and I just acted as if it wasn’t happening.”
Berry found relief in this film because for once her role had nothing to do with her appearance. She could wake up everyday and just show up to set and act. “Especially being me and people always commented on how I look, it was so liberating to wake up every day and the more (expletive) up I looked, the better it was going to be for the day’s work,” she recalls.
For years, her beauty has been the focal point of her career. She just recently unveiled her skin care routine and had fans clamoring for more beauty tips. Even her prep for the film has gotten more attention that the work, with many wanting to know her work out regimen and how she got in such great shape for the movie. Promo for the film has been peppered with images of her scantily clad roles from the past instead of the acting in Bruised. In a except from their review of the film, USA Today noted, “If this movie doesn’t finally change the conversation about Berry, it’s unclear what will. Few can look past the onetime beauty queen’s looks, not even a morning show that recently opened an interview with Berry by showing an extended clip of her bikini-clad Bond girl rising from the surf.”