What drove Halle Berry toward the film Bruised as her directorial debut? A portrait of hard, gritty, relentlessly unapologetic mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting, it’s a film she also stars in. At 53 she is pushing every limit, putting her own body through the ringer for this project, doing her own stunts and getting hurt, too. In fact, filming stopped on November 19 because she was injured too badly to work. She re-emerged on set a week later with black eyes and a puffy face. Thank you to all the folks that have showered me with love since my injury. It’s par for the course when you do your own stunts, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just know I’m far from tired. I’m wide awake...and just getting started! #BruisedTheMovie pic.twitter.com/JwSPo47LvO — Halle Berry (@halleberry) November 20, 2019 Why is Berry, the Oscar-winning actress, fighting so hard? She is taking a big chance working with non-actors in significant roles. But maybe it’s because even when she won the coveted golden statue, very few black woman followed in her footsteps. “That moment really meant nothing,” Berry said to Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth two years ago. “It meant nothing. I thought it meant something, but I think it meant nothing.” Was that the moment she decided to take the fight back to Hollywood? How 5 of MMA’s best female fighters reached the top “I was profoundly hurt by that and saddened by that, and it inspired me to try to get involved in other ways,” she said two years ago. “[It’s] why I want[ed] to start directing, to start producing more … to be a part of making more opportunities for people of colour,” she said. Written by Michelle Rosenfarb, Bruised features Berry as lead character Jackie “Justice”, a washed-up, disgraced MMA fighter. She lost her career and is now attempting to rebuild her life by trying to get her son back and training to fight an up and coming star in the MMA world (played by real world MMA fighter Valentina Shevchenko). It’s a story about family, about character and fighting all the demons women can face. View this post on Instagram Happy #FitnessFriday, y’all! To round out the rest of the year, I have an extra special treat. My training for #BruisedTheMovie has introduced me to so many incredible individuals - professional athletes and trainers that have pushed my inner-warrior to places I would have never imagined! Today, we begin a series that will bring some of their insight directly to YOU. Excited to announce #FitnessFriday : Bruised Edition, and we’re opening with a bang! Check stories for a one-on-one interview with Olympic boxer @jennifer_dugwen_chieng, a bad ass athlete and beautiful soul who’ll walk you through some of her go to fitness favorites. Enjoy and Happy Friday!! A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:12pm PDT Her character in Bruised is battling against tough odds, but Berry feels that’s the plight of people of colour in the film business right now. “I’ve had conversations more deeply with the Academy members trying to figure out how to add more diversity into the Academy group which chooses who wins every year,” Berry told Welteroth. “I think black people, people of colour, only have a chance to win based on what product we’re allowed to put out. So, that says to me we need more people of colour writing, directing [and] producing, not just starring.” For her, it’s all about stories, ultimately. Maybe that’s why she chose this vehicle for her directorial debut. “We have to start telling stories that include us,” she said. “And if the stories don’t include us, we have to ask ‘why can’t that [character] be a person of colour?’ ‘Why can’t that white male person be a black woman?’ Why can’t it? We have to start pushing the envelope and asking these questions.” View this post on Instagram The time has finally arrived. #TeamBruised ....we ready! Thank you @bulletvalentina for joining me on this amazing journey. There is no greater opponent! Thank you @jennifer_dugwen_chieng, my baby @neeshnation and her boo @joss24k too!! Here’s to dreaming a bigger dream! ️ #BruisedTheMovie (special thanks to @hyperfly for the new Bruised gear) A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Oct 14, 2019 at 8:49am PDT With Bruised , Berry is doing even more by including in the cast actual Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) MMA fighters. Berry is a big fight fan and loves the UFC. Are you a Conor or a Manny? Which combat sport is right for you? “This MMA ability to adapt and change and be fearless and take risks … I feel like I’ve been able to do that throughout my career,” Berry said. “I just love the sport, and I support all the women of the sport,” she said. “What they do is pretty incredible to me. In my movie, Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko are … part of it, and that means the world to me because they are both amazing champions in their own way.” View this post on Instagram Happy #FitnessFriday, everyone! There’s no better feeling than setting a goal and smashing it. One of my goals for #BruisedTheMovie? Ripped Abs - and today? I finally got them, and it feels unbelievable! This #FitnessFriday, I encourage you guys to set your bar. What is your fitness goal? Set the BAR higher than you think, share your goal in the comments and HOLD yourself to it. The work won’t be easy, but that pay off? Worth every damn second. In the meantime, head to stories for my #BruisedTheMovie workout, courtesy of my performance coach @mubarakmalik, aka "Bar" and put that inner-warrior to the test! Happy Friday! ♥️ A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Nov 8, 2019 at 10:11am PST IBJJF Hall of Famer Gabrielle “Gabi” Lemos Garcia also plays a part. She is a professional martial artist, specialising in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling. Shevchenko, current UFC flyweight champion, is a Kyrgyzstani professional mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai fighter. Nunes is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who is reigning champion of the women’s bantamweight and featherweight divisions (and the first woman to become a two-division UFC champion). View this post on Instagram A vida é muito louca, oportunidades chegam em nossa vida e conhecemos pessoas maravilhosas. Foi uma honra hoje passar o dia com a @halleberry e conhecer essa atriz sensacional e uma mulher e ser humano incrível. Muito feliz com tudo que vem acontecendo na minha carreira e que vai acontecer. Obrigado @yoko_godzilla_hamamura #jojo por este dia incrível. Muita coisa boa por vir. Definição da palavra humildade. Life is very crazy, opportunities come into our lives and we meet wonderful people. It was an honor today to spend the day with @halleberry and meet this sensational actress and an amazing woman. Super happy with everything that has been going on in my career and what will happen. Thank you @yoko_godzilla_hamamura #jojo for this amazing day. good things to come. Blessed #gabigarcia #wmma #jiujitsu #bjj #mmagirls #halleberry #mma A post shared by Gabi Garcia (@gabigarciaofficial) on Jul 26, 2019 at 4:33pm PDT We review 5 fitness apps to help get your sweat on at home Also in the cast are Destroyer and TIFF Rising Star Shamier Anderson and Designated Survivor actor Adan Canto. Canto starred in Netflix’s Narcos , as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past . Anderson co-stars as twins Anton and Dario in the third Season of Amazon’s Goliath opposite Billy Bob Thornton. Anderson is also a co-founder of B.L.A.C.K. (Building a Legacy in Acting Cinema and Knowledge), which mentors young filmmakers. View this post on Instagram Swinging into some late night shenanigans at @theoceanac - loving my time here, thank you for hosting us! #BruisedTheMovie A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Nov 26, 2019 at 10:13am PST The fight choreographers for the John Wick franchise (Berry starred in the third instalment, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum , with Keanu Reeves) serve on the Bruised set. Berry also joined John Wick producer Basil Iwanyk again for this film, as well as Linda Gottlieb. Berry trained hard, seriously amping-up not only her fitness routine, but training also with performance coach Mubarak “Bar” Malik. She is proving a lot with this project – for instance, that 53 years-old looks strong and amazing on a woman, and even an Oscar winner still goes out and works for more and that, in the end, the story is ultimately what matters. Berry’s still fighting, and she means business. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .