Halle Berry, in some form or another, has been fighting her whole life. Be it for coveted movie roles, on behalf of victims of domestic violence like herself, or against a perception that her physical beauty has insulated her from struggle, she has always seen herself as an underdog. And now, in her first film as a director, she has cast herself as one, too. In "Bruised" (premiering theatrically Nov. 17 before moving to Netflix a week later), Berry stars as Jackie Justice, a humiliated mixed martial arts fighter desperate to stage a comeback. It is her most physically demanding role: Now 55, she had to train four to six hours a day to learn boxing, Muay Thai, judo and jujitsu, as well as brush up on the capoeira skills she used in "Catwoman." Then, she'd spend the rest of the day in director mode: scouting locations in Newark, developing a script initially centered on a 20-something Irish Catholic white woman, blocking elaborate fight scenes, and collaborating with her intergenerational cast of actors. For any first-time filmmaker, that combination alone is a feat. Yet, with Justice, Berry plays one of her most complicated characters: In addition to being a former… Read full this story
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