It may have been slightly overshadowed by the respective debuts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s festive buddy adventure Hawkeye and Kevin Hart’s semi-autobiographical miniseries True Story, but Halle Berry’s directorial debut Bruised has still been winning plenty of praise after landing on Netflix yesterday.
The hard-hitting drama about a fallen MMA fighter making a comeback against all odds to secure a better life for her son is riddled with cliches and positively oozing formula, but it’s nonetheless an accomplished first-time feature from the Academy Award winner, who also happens to give a suitably gripping performance as Jacky Justice.
Rising star Shamier Anderson is the erstwhile antagonist of the piece, and his involvement led directly to his casting in next year’s action sequel John Wick: Chapter 4. Of course, Berry appeared in the third installment, while franchise director Chad Stahelski is one of Bruised‘s executive producers, and Anderson admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that his co-star and director was the one responsible.
“I got the job, and I finished filming a week ago. I’m in John Wick with Keanu Reeves! Shout-out to Halle Berry for giving me the opportunity that led to that.”
Hollywood really is a small world sometimes, and Anderson must have made an impression on Berry for her to go directly to the architect of the John Wick saga and recommend that he’d be the ideal candidate to cross paths with Keanu Reeves’ legendary assassin in his fourth outing.