Bruised will be premiering at the Toronto Film Festival this week, marking Halle Berry’s directorial debut.
The distinguished Oscar winner cracked two ribs during production but did not allow the injury to stop her.
“I didn’t want to stop because I had prepared for so long,” Berry said. “We had rehearsed; we were ready. So my mind, my director’s mind, was just — keep going. And I compartmentalized that, and I just kept going: ‘I’m not going to stop. I’ve come too far. I’m going to act as if this isn’t hurting. I’m going to will myself through it.’ And so we did.”
Bruised follows a disgraced MMA fighter who has failed at the one thing she’s ever been good at – fighting. When 6-year-old Manny, the son she walked out on years ago, returns to her doorstep, Jackie has to conquer her own demons, face one of the fiercest rising stars of the MMA world, and ultimately fight to become the mother the boy deserves.
Berry immediately felt an attachment to the role and wanted to star in it.This was a chance for her to represent people of color in a meaningful way and share an image of powerful Black women on-screen.
“I’m tortured because now I can’t let it go,” Berry commented regarding the waiting period. “I’ve been thinking of how I can reimagine it for someone like me, a Black woman in middle age — not starting life — who’s looking for a last chance, not another chance. I’m stuck on it.”
After joining the film’s creative team, Berry was met with the challenge of finding a director who matched her vision for the film. This prompted encouragement from her colleague Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas to direct the feature herself.
“I remember listening to her feedback from one of her meetings,” Goldsmith-Thomas said. “I just said, ‘This is nuts. You’re waiting for someone to tell you the things you know. You understand the evolution of redemption. Why the f— aren’t you standing in your own truth?’”
Excited fans will have to wait, as Bruised won’t be having a virtual audience but instead will tomorrow in front of a live audience at the Toronto Film Festival.