Halle Berry is back with her new film Bruised, which can be streamed on Netflix now. The 55-year-old actress plays Jackie Justice, a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. With Bruised being focused on MMA, Shannon Knapp, founder, and president of Invicta Fighting Championships, was a consultant to Berry on the film. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Knapp, who shared her thoughts on how Berry did as an MMA fighter.
"Well, I think she's incredibly talented," Knapp told PopCulture. "I don't think there's anything that any role that she would take on that she wouldn't be incredible in. I thought she did an amazing job. I thought that fight scene, in the end, the last part of the movie in that championship fight — I thought it looked real. I thought it was filmed very well. I think that she brought the validity to that character for sure."
Knapp also explained her role as a consultant. "With Halle, it was more about consulting on with the props and with the cage and helping to make sure that the scene in the movie looked like a real fight, to eye out things that would give us that validation, or the validity, that this is a live promotion and this is happening," Knapp explained. "She came out to the event and really threw opened the doors and said, 'take a look at, this is how it's done. This is where these athletes get started; this is the process of wrapping. This is coming out on the stage, making that walk to the cage.' So we were... I feel like we were instrumental in that way also."
Invicta FC is the inspiration behind Bruised, and Berry is also the director of the film. Knapp said she first met Berry in June 2019 and revealed what surprised her the most when meeting her. "What I was really surprised was her passion for the sport," Knapp revealed. "I mean, we get all these fans, but to have that passion and to have that drive to really want to shine a light and to get it right. Those are the things that I really noticed about her that I found even more surprising."
Now that Berry has gotten a taste of MMA action, Knapp would love for her to be more involved in the sport, specifically in Invicta FC. "Halle is an incredible person," Knapp said. "Not just what you see in films and things like that, she genuinely is an incredible person. And it's that energy that she brings to things. And the fact that she's passionate about the sport and elevating the women, the female athletes. Yeah, I think anytime I could have a tag team partner like that, that would be amazing, right?"