Academy Award winner Halle Berry throws down in the first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming sports drama, Bruised. The movie, which is due for release onto the streaming platform next month, not only features Berry as the lead, but also marks her directorial debut as she crafts this story about family and fighting in a triumphant sports drama about a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out.
Coming this Thanksgiving, Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry directs and stars as Jackie Justice, a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. Down on her luck and simmering with rage and regret years after her last fight, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager and boyfriend Desi (Adan Canto) and grabs the attention of a fight league promoter (Shamier Anderson) who promises Jackie a life back in the octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when Manny (Danny Boyd, Jr.) – the 6-year-old son she gave up as an infant – shows up at her doorstep.
The trailer shows an unrecognizable Halle Berry (yes, that phrase is used a lot, but it certainly applies here) as she struggles against adversity in her everyday life, while being battered in the cage in her professional one. Telling the classic tale of redemption through contact sports, Bruised looks like the perfect exhibit for Berry’s dedication and award winning talent.
Alongside Halle Berry as both lead actress and director, Bruised also stars Adriane Lenox, Sheila Atim as Bobbi Buddhakan Berroa, Valentina Shevchenko as Lady Killer, Adan Canto as Desi, Shamier Anderson as Jackie’s encouraging MMA league owner, and Stephen McKinley Henderson as Pops. Bruised comes from a screenplay by newcomer Michelle Rosenfarb.
The script for Bruised went through some pretty big changes once Berry got her hands on it, and quickly became something of a passion project for the actress. “They gave me the script and I loved the story, but it was written for a twentysomething Irish Catholic white woman,” Berry revealed to Entertainment Weekly earlier this year. “I couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I thought, is it possible that this could be reimagined for someone like me? Because I think I have a take on it that could actually work – making it about a middle-aged Black woman, someone fighting for a last chance rather than another chance. When you’re young we all get chances, they’re a dime a dozen. But when you’re at a certain stage in life it becomes something more impactful and meaningful, right?”
The movie will see Berry take on one of her most physically demanding roles, something which she did not expect to be doing at this stage of her career. “It used to be when you were 40 your career was done, and I mean really done,” Berry continued. “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 had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2020. It is scheduled to be released on November 24, 2021, by Netflix.