Halle Berry has made her directorial debut! Speaking with PEOPLE at the AFI Fest premiere of her Netflix feature Bruised on Saturday, the 55-year-old Oscar winner discussed her enthusiasm for the production as well as “the fight game.”
“I was told a long time ago that if you’re going to direct a story and be a filmmaker, especially your first movie, you best make it about something that you love and something you intrinsically understand,” the actress-turned-director said as per PEOPLE.
“And I love the fight game. I understand this world and I understand what it is to be a woman fighting to survive.” Berry plays Jackie Justice, a former MMA fighter who is persuaded to return to the ring “after the little boy she left behind comes back into her life.”
However, The Moonfall actress revealed that she interviewed “several” women for the part, but ultimately thought they didn’t share her vision for the film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Halle also revealed that ‘Bruised’ was “one of the biggest challenges of my career.” Berry spent months training to become a champion-level fighter in “a huge, meaty part,” as well as learning how to work behind the camera.
She said she realised this was the project to finally take the jump after being a lifetime boxing fan with a personal connection to a lady also trying to take care of her kid.
Meanwhile, the film, which has since been picked up by Netflix, was initially scripted for a young white character, with Blake Lively set to play the lead.
Berry was shown the screenplay after Blake dropped out and liked it so much that she persuaded producers to let her refocus the plot to a middle-aged Black lady living and training in Newark for her to appear in.