"A new chapter in my career—and it wasn't easy."
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Halle Berry
Credit: Rich Polk, Getty Images

Halle Berry will make her directorial debut with Bruised, a Netflix indie that looks at Jackie Justice, a disgraced MMA fighter looking to make her big comeback. In some ways, Berry feels a kinship with the scrappy character, which is why she decided to play her in the film. Like Jackie, she's been fighting for respect her whole career. 

"I had to fight to be a director, like I had to fight to have a second act," Berry told Entertainment Weekly in her August 10th cover story. "A new chapter in my career—and it wasn't easy."

Despite being an Oscar-winner—she's still the only Black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar—and an OG member of The X-Men, she still feels as if she's trying to prove herself in Hollywood. 

Throughout her career she said she's been finding her voice, which started with leaving her mother's home at 17 to pursue her dreams. In her 20s, when she was just starting her career, she had to "learn to say 'no' to all the vultures that came around me in the entertainment business that wanted to take a piece of me or somehow use something that I had for their own good," she told EW. "Take advantage of me."

Now, with Bruised, the 54-year-old literally put up a fight to direct and star in the film. "This wasn't a slam dunk for me," she said. "I had to work really hard for this opportunity and prove that I can do it. And it was about finding a new voice even at this stage in my career."

She hopes that her battle to direct and star in her new film is a sign that Hollywood is changing for the better

"It used to be when you were 40 your career was done, and I mean really done," she said in EW's latest cover story. "Or you had to wait until you were old enough to play a grandma, and then you could have another bite at the apple, right? I mean, I couldn't think that I'd be playing an MMA fighter at 54 years old. Yet I did, so it's got to be changing. I'm proof of that."

Bruised hits Netflix on November 24th.