The new sports drama, Bruised, has recently debuted on Netflix and the narrative has left viewers wondering whether the lead character, Jackie Justice, was a real MMA fighter or not.

Bruised is Halle Berry‘s directorial debut and the Oscar winner also plays the film’s lead, Jackie Justice. With the screenplay written by Michelle Rosenfarb, Bruised tells the story of the MMA fighter who must battle to bounce back from a crushing blow to her career.

The film received a brief theatrical release on November 17, 2021 – after it premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival in September – and arrived on Netflix on November 24.

Bruised | Official Trailer | Netflix

Bruised | Official Trailer | Netflix

Is Jackie Justice a real person?

No, Jackie Justice is not a real person nor MMA fighter, but instead, a character created by Berry.

The actor and director spent a dedicated amount of time carving out the character of Jackie Justice while basing some of the fighter’s struggles on her own real-life experience.

Berry committed to eight months of rigorous martial arts training in order to prepare for the role, including the practice of boxing, judo, and jujitsu.

Speaking to the NYTimes, Berry commented on how she resonated with Jackie Justice: “I understand being marginalized as a Black woman and the anger, resentment, fear, and frustration that comes with all of that. If I could put all of that into this movie, all the things that I know so well, then I knew I could create a character that will not only be real but will resonate with women of different races, too.”

Is Bruised based on a real story?

No, Bruised is not based on any real-life person or event.

Just the same as Jackie Justice, the events of the film were concocted by  Berry and Rosenfarb, and the studio was on board to support any character or tonal changes the pair wanted to include.

Berry advocated putting a middle-aged Black woman in the lead role to reinvigorate the specific genre.

After searching for the perfect actor to encompass the role of Jackie Justice, Berry soon announced that she would be taking on the task herself.


Bruised cast

In addition to Berry’s presence on and off the screen, Bruised has a rather small but intimate cast to support Jackie.

Wynonna Earp star Shamier Anderson and musical actor and playwright Sheila Atim are but a few talented actors involved in bringing this powerhouse story to life.

  • Halle Berry as Jackie Justice
  • Shamier Anderson as Immaculate
  • Adan Canto as Desi
  • Sheila Atim as Bobbi Buddhakan Berroa
  • Valentina Shevchenko as Lucia “Lady Killer” Chavez
  • Lela Loren as Mrs. Bradshaw

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