Halle Berry is an accomplished Hollywood actress and soon, she’ll make her directorial debut. She’ll be directing and starring in Bruised, a movie featuring MMA. Berry needed to brush up on her fighting skills. So she hired one of the best MMA fighters in the UFC, Brian Ortega, to help her train for the role.
How Halle Berry and Brian Ortega met
Ortega is one of the best fighters in the UFC. At UFC 231, however, his undefeated streak was derailed by the champ, Max Holloway. That said, things rebounded quickly for him. As MMAjunkie reports, Ortega was in the audience of UFC 232, and it just so happened that Berry was there, too.
The two talked for a bit but went their separate ways after the event. After this short encounter, Ortega started researching her work, and Berry also studied up on him. She was in the process of making her directorial debut, and she needed high-level fighters to train her. Berry soon reached out to Ortega, and he gladly accepted.
What ‘Bruised’ is about and what Ortega taught Berry
As BJJ World said, Bruised is centered on an MMA fighter called Jackie Justice, who’s played by Berry. Justice is a “disgruntled” fighter who spiraled out of control, but her 6-year-old son stopped her from going off the deep end. Bruised will be about her struggle to redeem herself both as a person and a fighter.
Bruised debuted in early September at the Toronto International Film Festival. According to Variety, Netflix bought the rights to distribute it not long after. It’s not known when Netflix will release the movie, but the film has a lot of UFC talent behind it and in it. Women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko has a major role in the movie. But Ortega was the one to help train Berry.
Ortega, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, worked on those specific skills with Berry. Ortega said, “My main goal is to get her jiu-jitsu looking dope as ****. We’re going to see some cool-ass things. We’re going to drill her hard.” Although Berry dabbled in BJJ to prepare for other movies, Ortega also wanted her to fall in love with the sport. He said, “I’m hoping this is the start of something great.”
While it’s not clear what techniques Ortega taught her, he has used a lot of cool techniques in the octagon before. For example, he’s used the guillotine choke as a Hail Mary to win fights that he was losing. That said, until Bruised debuts on Netflix, no one will really know what cool moves he taught her.
Hollywood loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Ever since the UFC became mainstream, BJJ has become more and more popular, and unsurprisingly, that’s also the trend in Hollywood. Many action movies have already incorporated BJJ techniques into fight scenes. For example, like BJJ World said, in the John Wick movies, Keanu Reeves, who plays John Wick, did a lot of BJJ training for the role.
That said, while BJJ is becoming a popular fighting style in movies, Hollywood actors are also learning BJJ for fun and fitness. BJJ World mentioned that celebrities like Margot Robbie, Tom Hardy, and Demi Lovato all practice BJJ as a hobby. In fact, for Lovato, MMA also got her a date. The singer dated former UFC middleweight champ, Luke Rockhold, for a short time.