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Halle Berry is no stranger to onscreen action. But the actress had never encountered anything like the training regime she underwent before appearing in director Chad Stahelski’s action sequel John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (out May 17).
“I had learned capoeira for Catwoman and I had done some training for X-Men and Bond,” says Berry, who starred in 2002’s 007 adventure Die Another Day. “This was on another level. I trained for about six months, five days a week. It was gun training, jiu-jitsu, aikido, all different kinds of martial arts. I broke three ribs at one point. When I broke the ribs I thought, Oh, this is it, they’re going to recast me, but Chad said he was going to wait for me. And he waited for me, and I went back into training, and kept going.”
How exactly did Berry break those ribs? “We don’t know, just somehow in one of the training sessions, we’re not even really clear when I did it,” she says. “I broke it, and I kept working for about five months, until I just couldn’t do it anymore and had to stop.”
Berry plays Sofia, an old acquaintance of Keanu Reeves’ titular hit man, from whom he seeks help in his attempt to escape being killed for the $14 million bounty on his head. “There’s a sort of love-hate relationship there,” says Berry of her character’s bond with Wick.
The actress has no regrets about her experience with the franchise, broken bones and all. “Keanu told me, when I first started, ‘You’re going to work harder than you’ve ever worked, but it’s going to be the most rewarding at the end of the day, I promise you,’” she says. “And he was absolutely right.”
Watch the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, above.
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