Halle Berry Left ‘Speechless’ After Netflix Picks Up Her Directorial Debut For $20m
Berry, 54, tweeted a Variety article about her new film, Bruised, which announced the 'monster deal' that had been reached with Netflix.
"I am speechless," she wrote.
"Thank you @netflix for believing in my vision, cannot wait for y'all to finally see #BruisedTheMovie."
The film, Berry's first as a director, follows the life of a washed-up MMA fighter as she prepares to face one of the sport's rising stars, while also dealing with the return of her six-year-old son.
Berry stars in the film as the lead character Jackie Justice, having directed the project from a screenplay by Michelle Rosenfarb.
The movie will screen as a work-in-progress at the Toronto International Film Festival, but its release date on Netflix has not yet been announced.
Speaking to Variety as part of its TIFF preview issue, Berry revealed she broke two ribs while filming - something that threatened to halt production on her debut as a director.
"I didn't want to stop because I had prepared for so long," she 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.'
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"And so we did."
Berry explained that she felt a strong connection to the lead character when she first read the script for Bruised, as she had been training for three years in mixed martial arts herself.
She'd immersed herself in the jujitsu, judo, taekwondo and kickboxing to help her perform some of the stunts on John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, meaning that when the role of Jackie Justice came along, she felt drawn to her.
However, Berry had to be patient as the project was already in the pipeline for someone else, as director Nick Cassavetes had been attached to make the movie with Blake Lively as the star.
"I'm tortured, because now I can't let it go," Berry said of the difficult 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."
The script became available six months later, and Berry pitched herself as the lead to the producers, but eventually it was decided that the actor should direct instead.
With directing something Berry had always thought about while working in cinema, the opportunity felt like a rebirth of her career.
"As an actor, I always show up and do my part, and I can only do what I can do," she said.
"Being the director, I have a part in the totality of every department. I get to have a voice. That was different, and I really loved that."
Featured Image Credit: PA