When Halle Berry signed up to star and direct in a movie titled Bruised, which is set in the world of mixed martial arts, she knew wasn’t going to walk away from filming unscathed.
The Academy Award-winning actress actually had to pause production briefly last year after she suffered a minor injury during filming where her character was engaging in fight sequences with Berry doing her own stunts.
In the film, Berry plays Jackie “Justice,” a downtrodden MMA fighter who is battling her own demons while trying to reconcile with her 6-year-old son. Her main rival in the film is played by Valentina Shevchenko and according to Berry, she had to really go toe-to-toe with the UFC flyweight champion during several fight scenes.
“I broke some stuff on this one,” Berry revealed when speaking to The Tonight Show on Tuesday. “It’s OK, I always get hurt but I realized that when you go hard, you’re bound to get hurt. When you do your own stunts, you’re bound to get hurt.
“In this movie, I was fighting the real UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, and you know what? She had to throw some real kicks and I had to really take them and that really broke some bones. She’s a beast but I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, a better scene mate, a better fight partner.”
Berry praised Shevchenko as a tremendous scene partner, but she says the UFC champion also served as a real teacher on set to help the film gain legitimacy during those fight sequences.
“She just brought so much reality to it for me. At times, I felt like I was really fighting,” Berry said. “Like our referee that was in the movie is a real referee and he says a couple times ‘man I thought I was watching a real fight’ because she brought so much power and authenticity to our fight scenes.”
For her part, Shevchenko shared a similar experience after working with Berry on Bruised.
“Of course when I get this opportunity from Halle to be part of her movie, of course I thought it’s a great idea,” Shevchenko told MMA Fighting. “I read the script and it was a very inspirational story about a mixed martial arts female who is struggling, not only about the sport about also about making herself better, her life better and I thought this is a great opportunity.
“It was an amazing experience. Halle, she’s really a wonderful person. It’s very easy to work with her. Like example she wanted something from me and she knew the exact words to make me work as necessary for the movie for my character. I can’t wait for it to be released. I think it should be something very great.”