Hollywood star and MMA fan Halle Berry admitted she “broke some bones” taking real kicks from Valentina Shevchenko.
Berry made her directorial debut in the film “Bruised” which is expected to be released later this year. The movie follows the story of Jackie “Justice”, a disgraced MMA fighter who returns to fighting in an attempt to conquer her own demons and become the mother her child deserves.
The Oscar-winning star plays the main character in the film, and UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko made her acting debut in the film as her opponent. She also helped train Berry for the role and praised her athletic ability.
“We trained four hours a day with Halle, training non-stop,” said Shevchenko. “She did everything amazing. For this movie she started training MMA – Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu – she started everything, two or three years ago. And she’s now in such a great shape, that I can say she can be very competitive for girls in UFC as well.”
Halle Berry is one of the biggest MMA fans in Hollywood. She has attended multiple UFC events and even trained with Brian Ortega and Cris Cyborg. It wasn’t her initial intention to star in the film, but she said she had fun fulfilling the role.
“I got to rewrite the movie and set it in a world that I understood for a woman my age,” Berry said on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. “It was originally written for a white, Irish Catholic girl in her early 20s, and so I got to re-imagine it for someone like me. It was fun.”
The former Catwoman star admitted she broke some bones, but believes it comes with the territory of making an MMA movie.
“I broke some stuff on this one,” Berry said. “And you know what? 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.
Berry also shared the humbling yet amazing experience of fighting with a real UFC champion.
“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 said.
“She’s a beast, but I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, a better scene mate, a better fight partner. She just brought so much reality to it for me. At times, I felt like I was really fighting. 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.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/23/2020.