Halle Berry Reveals Why She Pushed Through 'Crazy Injury' During Directorial Debut

The Oscar winner plays a disgraced MMA fighter in the upcoming sports drama "Bruised," which Netflix acquired last year for $20 million.

Halle Berry is no stranger to taking onscreen punches or cat scratches over her decades-long career as an action heroine.

But for her upcoming directorial debut “Bruised,” which she also stars in as disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice, the Oscar winner got injured in a way that was all too real.

On the first day of filming the indie drama, which required her to undergo extensive fight training to step into the ring, Berry broke two of her ribs but chose to not halt filming for the sake of the production.

″[It was] kind of a crazy injury. But that was just her intensity…. Halle’s a special case,” fight choreographer and stunt coordinator Eric Brown told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Tuesday. “I’ve worked with tons of actors, and almost none of them have that kind of work ethic.”

Berry had previously broken three of her ribs while filming an action-heavy sequence for “John Wick: Chapter 3 ― Parabellum,” which informed how she chose to proceed on the set of “Bruised.”

“I told the director about it, they told the insurance. We had to shut down for months and it was a big ordeal,” the “X-Men” star said of her first rib injury. “On this, because it was an independent movie, we didn’t have a big budget. The director in me said, ‘I didn’t come this far and work this hard to go home.’”

In a Variety interview last year, Berry said she believes she’s more susceptible to injuries given her diabetes diagnosis, adding that she has a “propensity to fracture bones faster than other people.”

For what it’s worth, Berry broke different ribs this time around, noting that, “When you break something, it calcifies and it’s stronger. You don’t usually break the same bones twice.”

“Bruised,” which was originally set to star Blake Lively in the lead role, languished in development hell for years before Berry took on the role and the script was reimagined with her at the center.

Berry never expected to sit in the director’s chair. But when she failed to find someone to bring her vision to life, her producing partner pushed the actor to assume the role.

“I had to go back and say, ‘I’ve tried really hard, but what’s in my head, no one else sees,’” she recalled thinking. “‘I should direct this.’”

The distribution rights for the film, which had its world premiere at the virtual Toronto Film Festival in 2020, have since been acquired by Netflix for upwards of $20 million. At the time of the sale, Berry said she was “speechless” over the figure and praised the streaming service for “believing in my vision.”

The film is the latest evolution for Berry’s legendary career, which is getting into a whole new gear ahead of her 55th birthday later this month.

“It used to be when you were 40 your career was done, and I mean really done,” she told EW. “Or you had to wait until you were old enough to play a grandma, and then you could have another bite at the apple, right? I mean, I couldn’t think that I’d be playing an MMA fighter at 54 years old. Yet I did, so it’s got to be changing. I’m proof of that.”

“Bruised” hits Netflix on November 24.

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