It’s always exciting when a high-profile performer steps behind the camera…

We’ve seen it many times, with the likes of Jonah Hill (mid-90s) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women) doing so to great success in recent years.

The latest to broaden her skillset is the one-and-only Halle Berry.

Many will recognise the 55-year-old American actress from such efforts as X-Men, John Wick: Chapter 3, Die Another Day, Swordfish, and Monster’s Ball, for which she earned the Academy Award for Best Actress.

She helms and stars in Bruised, a sports drama penned by Michelle Rosenfarb. It premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2020 and is now screening in limited theaters before arriving on Netflix on Wednesday, November 24th 2021.

The buzz surrounding the film is undeniable but is Bruised on Netflix based on a true story?

still from Bruised trailer, Netflix

Is Netflix’s Bruised based on a true story?

No, Bruised is not based on a true story but it does, of course, draw real-life inspiration from the MMA sport it explores.

MMA is a combat sport that finds the athletes striking, grappling, and ground fighting, facing off against opponents with techniques commonplace in such fellow sports as boxing, martial arts, and kickboxing.

The term itself was coined back in 1993 and has grown in prestige significantly in recent years. Fighters such as Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Anderson silva, and beyond are big names that have helped it gain publicity.

Discussing Bruised, Halle Berry portrays Jackie Justice, an aged mixed martial arts fighter who previously stepped down from the combat sport. However, when approached to fight the top female fighter, she takes on the challenge and steps back into the ring.

Meanwhile, she grapples with raising her 6-year-old son, whom she previously gave up for adoption.

Jackie isn’t based on one specific real-life MMA fighter and the story is entirely fictional.

Nevertheless, Halle has previously explained that the story is something of a personal one: “I loved it because fighting is something that I just know so much about on a personal level and on a career level. I understand what it is to fight and not be heard.”

Bruised | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Bruised | Official Trailer | Netflix
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“It was written for a 25-year-old Irish Catholic girl”

It’s perhaps no surprise to hear that Bruised means something to Halle personally, considering her colossal impact on the screenplay.

As noted by Entertainment Weekly, she has previously revealed that “it was written for a 25-year-old Irish Catholic girl.”

Initially, this left her disheartened as she felt it was a story she couldn’t make her own. However, this is where Halle’s personal fight to get the film made began:

“I knew as written it could not be me, but what I loved about the story is it was a classic fight film. I loved the fractured brokenness of this character, and I love to see a film that’s about redemption. I want to see the human spirit soar, I want to see someone rise above obstacles and still be standing at the end of the day.”

Compelled to get the project off the ground, she convinced producers to let her resculpt the script to tell the redemptive story of a middle-aged Black woman. They agreed and she set out to find a director; in the end, she ended up taking the reins.

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Halle Berry assembles a knockout cast

While Halle’s artistic stamp is all over Bruised, there are some terrific supporting players along for the ride:

There’s Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Adriana Lenox (The Blind Side), Sheila Atim (Show), Lela Loren (The Hangover Part III), Nikolai Nikolaeff (Mile 22), Shamier Anderson (Destroyer), and Valentina Shevchenko, a real professional MMA fighter.

Stephen McKinley Henderson (Dune), and Denny Dillon (Saturday Night Fever), and Danny Boyd Jr. also star.

Bruised is on Netflix from Wednesday, November 24th 2021.

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