Halle Berry worked hard for her role!
The actress, 55, stopped by “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Monday, November 15, and talked about her new film, “Bruised.” She revealed how she prepared for her character, a disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice.
Berry had a keen interest in MMA fighting, which drew her to the role.
“That’s why when I got this script, I was like this came from heaven,” Berry said while looking stunning in a plunging black dress with gold details.
She continued, “I’ve loved boxing since I was a kid [Thomas] Hearns and [Muhammad] Ali, [Marvin] Hagler and [Sugar Ray] Leonard were my heroes as a little girl, so this was tailor-made for me in so many ways.”
She Didn’t Get The Role First
However, Berry was not the first choice for the role. She revealed that it was actually Blake Lively, 34, who got the script first since the story was about a very young Irish Catholic white girl. The “Monster’s Ball” star had to wait until the “Gossip Girl” alum passed on the script to her.
Berry had told her agent that she was interested in playing the part. She was then told by her agent that if Lively turned down the project, she would be the first person to get it.
Berry then waited until she received the good news.
“I had to patiently wait for six months until Blake decided it was not something she wanted to do,” Berry recalled.
She ‘Loved’ Playing The Role
Kimmel told her she looked so beautiful during the show, but in the movie, she appeared very beaten and haggard as she fought viciously.
“I loved that,” Berry said. “I loved it.”
The TV host then told her that she picked the least easy thing to do.
“I know it was bananas,” she said, agreeing to the statement. “Sometimes these things just find you.”
While she adored the role, Berry said she will “never” do it again.
Learning Martial Arts
Kimmel then probed on her preparation for the role, saying she probably did a lot of training, while also asking her how much she did.
“No kidding around, I trained for around two and half years,” Berry stated. “I would go anywhere, always four days a week, sometimes six days a week, for four to six hours.”
When asked whether she went to gyms to fight, she said, “Fighting, learning all these martial arts discipline.”
She continued, “I had to learn Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, wrestling, Judo, boxing, kickboxing, all of these elements come into play in MMA.”
That said, Kimmel asked which martial arts she gravitated to more, to which she answered with “Jiu-Jitsu.”
Berry said, “that’s the ground game. It’s like wrestling when you are on the ground and you are doing all these moves. That is naturally where my talents lie.”
Fighting A UFC Champion
She shared that she fought her co-star Valentina Shevchenko, 33, a professional mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai fighter, and currently the UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion.
“Do you have a conversation beforehand where you say take it easy on me or don’t take it easy on me?” Kimmel asked Berry, adding, “If I were her, I would be terrified to hit you.”
The actress said that Shevchenko was scared to hit her at first and that she had to encourage the fighter to “do it.”
When the fighter did, Berry said Shevchenko “broke two ribs.”