Oscar award-winning actress, Halle Berry has revealed she endured an entire weight-cut to prepare for her recently released, directorial debut film feature, ‘Bruised’ — in which she directs and plays the role of professional mixed martial artist, Jackie Justice.

‘Bruised’, which was released on streaming platform, Netflix worldwide this month tells the tale of professional mixed martial arts fighter, Justice, played by Berry, as she looks to make her impact on the sport as well as reconnect with her son. And also features a performance from current UFC flyweight champion, the dominant, Valentina Shevchenko, who plays the role of Lucia ‘Lady Killer’ Chavez in the feature.

Halle Berry carries out actual weight-cut to prepare for MMA fighter role in ‘Bruised’

Detailing how she prepared for the role as Justice in her directorial debut, Berry revealed to ESPN MMA reporter, Marc Raimondi that she had actually endured a weight cut to prepare for the film.

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[email protected] (Halle Berry) says she did an actual weight cut for the Bruised movie — and got a ringing endorsment from no-nonsense Keith Peterson himself,” Raimondi tweeted.

It was hard for me ’cause I had never done that before but that was a big part of me playing this character,” Halle Berry revealed. “I wanted to experience every aspect of being a fighter that I absolutely could. I wanted to understand what it felt like and being the director of the story, I felt like I needed to understand it. So, the weight cut for me was probably a little more real for me than Valentina [Shevchenko]. I was preparing like a month and a half before just to get to a good fight weight. I was building muscle and trying to lose weight at the same time so that I could really physically look like a real opponent to her.

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Berry then revealed that she had received some notable praise from longtime, experienced referee, Keith Peterson for her performance in the shooting of her fight with Shevchenko.

I remember the day, we were actually doing the fight and we had Keith Peterson, a real UFC referee, and I remember the day he came to me,” Halle Berry said. “We had performed one of our sequences and he said, ‘My God, I thought for a minute I was watching a real Valentina [Shevchenko] fight.’ That’s when I knew that, oh my God, all of this training and weight-cutting and all of this muscle building, everything was all worth it.” (Transcribed by Middleeasy)

The feature film was also originally slated to feature one-time UFC bantamweight championship challenger and now Bellator MMA featherweight contender, Cat Zingano alongside Shevchenko. 

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However, Zingano claimed that Berry had reached out to her in August of this year offering her a role in the film, which she accepted. Zingano then claimed she was offered a fight by the UFC which was slated to occur in October, but alleges that Berry advised her to reject the fight due to insurance reasons, and alleges that her refusal of the fight resulted in her release from the promotion. As a result, Zingano alleged that Berry subsequently informed her that she could no longer feature in the film as only active UFC fighters could feature. The Bellator featherweight has filed a lawsuit against Halle Berry seeking damages on promissory estoppel claims.