Halle Berry stars as MMA fighter aged 54—'it used to be when you were 40 your career was done'

Halle Berry celebrates positive changes against ageism as, aged 54, she stars in most physically demanding role yet

Halle Berry
(Image credit: Getty)

Halle Berry has opened up about ageism against women in Hollywood, and why her recent role in Bruised gives her hope for more inclusivity in the future.

The Oscar-winning actor took to Twitter to celebrate the progress the entertainment industry has made when it comes to casting older women. The post comes amidst major buzz around Halle's directorial debut in the upcoming film Bruised, in which she's also starring as a downtrodden MMA fighter desperate for another shot at victory.

"It used to be when you were 40 your career was done…and I mean really done. 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," she told her 465k followers.

Halle, whose role as protagonist Jackie Justice required her to embark on an intensive training regime, was put to her limits during the shooting of the indie sports drama. By the end of the first day of filming, she was already broken—cracking two ribs during the intensive fight scenes. She decided to soldier on though, refusing to allow the injury to interfere with production.  

"The director in me said, 'I didn't come this far and work this hard to go home,'" she told EW. With such a strong work ethic, it's not surprising that the Catwoman star has managed to observe a strict fitness routine into her 50s. 

Back in March, Halle shared her secret to getting those rock-hard abs we all envy, giving fans free access to her exercise plan on the app FitOn. By charging nothing for this service, she hopes to break down the elitism that can often be associated with health and wellness. 

Halle Berry wearing her Sweaty Betty collaboration

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

"I think for so long people thought, 'You have to have a trainer. You have to have a gym membership. You have to have all this equipment. You have to eat certain meals'," she told Harper's Bazaar. "That costs a certain amount. I think we've talked ourselves out of being fit, sometimes, because we think it's something that's unobtainable or not affordable." 

Now 54 and fitter than ever, Halle reminds women everywhere that age is no barrier when it comes to fulfilling their dreams. 

Halle isn't the first woman to call out discrimination in TV and movies. Sharon Stone opened up about ageism and misogyny in an Oprah interview last March, criticizing the "white male society" for erasing their visibility in the workplace. “I think as we grow older, we have this societal pressure, where people start to try to tell us that our worth is diminished, and I think that this is a time in our life when our worth is most enhanced,” she said. 

Halle Berry's Bruised will premiere on Netflix on 24 November.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.