We’ve seen Halle Berry on the silver screen over the years, and the talented actress has performed in a wide variety of different roles. Possibly best known for her role in the 2004 film Catwoman, she also starred alongside Pierce Brosnan as the ‘Bond Girl’ in Die Another Day, and the horror movie Gothika. And they’re just a handful from the long list that makes up her filmography.
One of her latest films, due for release on November 24th 2021, is Bruised. It tells the story of an MMA fighter who has been disgraced, and is looking to find redemption again inside the cage. In order to do so, she must summon up the courage to face her demons head on, as an unexpected event happens, when her son, who she had given up as an infant, enters her world once more.
What is really special about this film though, which will air on Netflix, is that it is actually Halle Berry’s directorial debut. She decided to pick the film up and star in it after the original director Nick Cassavetes stepped down. And then cast herself as the role of Jackie Justice, the MMA fighter down on her luck, instead of the previous actress who was due to play the role, Blake Lively. But she also changed the story slightly too, having adapted the backstory of the main character more to the world she knows in terms of age and location, as opposed to the original setting which followed a young Irish catholic girl.
Whilst Halle Berry has no doubt performed in action movies before, this will be the first time she has ever played the role of an MMA fighter. And to ensure that she could really get into shape for the film, and better understand the role she would play, Berry teamed up with UFC fighter, Valentina Shevchenko.
Who is Valentina Shevchenko?
The 33-year old UFC fighter, who was born in Kyrgyzstan but also has Peruvian links, has an excellent professional fighting record, currently standing at 22 wins and three losses in the UFC. So is an excellent fighter for Berry to team up with as she prepares for her new film Bruised. In fact, Valentina is currently on an eight fight winning streak, in which she successfully won the women’s Flyweight Championship against Polish fighter Joanna Jędrzejczyk in December 2018.
She has since defended that title six times, with her latest successful defence against American Lauren Murphy on the 26th September 2021, with the fight being stopped in the 4th round. And whilst she has taken time out of her busy fight schedule to team up with Berry for Bruised, she says she isn’t done defending her title in the UFC yet. So make sure to check Wagerweb before her next fight to get in on the action.
But Shevchenko is much more than a UFC fighter, with many other accolades on her record too. She’s also an undefeated professional boxer, albeit with only two fights on her record. She competed competitively at kickboxing too, having dominated that sport too, winning 57 of 59 matches, including four victories by knockout. But most impressively, is her collection of medals from representing Peru and Kyrgyzstan in Muay Thai, where she has amassed 10 gold medals, and one silver medal at the World Championships and World Combat Games.
Back to the film
The fighter will also play a role in the film, as well as being tasked to get Berry up to speed in MMA. And in her role, she does take on Berry’s character, Jackie Justice, in the cage. And in an interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Berry revealed that she did get hurt recording the fight scenes in the movie when she was fighting Shevchenko:
“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, or a better fight partner. She just brought so much reality to it for me. At times, I felt like I was really fighting.”
It just goes to show what an incredible, and brave actress Halle Berry is. Not scared to actually take a few hits to really sell the experience. That’s a true method actor right there. And hopefully once the film is released, all those broken bones, bruises and other injuries she no doubt picked up, will all be worth it. We for one are definitely looking forward to seeing how it all turns out, and if her directing career is anything like her acting one, she’ll be sure to have a hit on her hands.
Remember, Bruised will be released on Netflix on November 24th, 2021.