In the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, the Oscar winner opens up about her directorial debut and performance in Bruised.

Halle Berry embodied the spirit of a fighter in Bruised, training for two years and breaking as many ribs to play a mixed martial artist in her directorial debut. And while awards season is only just ramping up, her dedication to the role is already paying off.

The Oscar winner notched a special achievement honor for Best First Feature from the Satellite Awards and is also set to receive the SeeHer Award at the Critics Choice Awards next month.

In the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, Berry sits down to discuss directing herself as Jackie Justice, a disgraced MMA fighter seeking redemption in the ring and custody of her young son. "I had this story inside me that was aching and dying to get out," she tells EW's Clarissa Cruz.

Awardist- Halle Berry in Bruised
Halle Berry in 'Bruised'
| Credit: John Baer/NETFLIX

While Berry felt driven to the role "by some otherworldly force," she says what attracted her most to the story was its all too real, if underrepresented, portrayal of motherhood. "I think it's really important that we as women talk about the ambivalence of being a mother," Berry says. "And I think this story offers a unique perspective because it's the perspective of a Black woman, and culturally our lives and our existence are very different than our white counterparts."

She continues, "We bring our culture with us, and unfortunately our generational trauma with us, that's been put upon us since I would say slavery days. That makes our stories very rich, very deep, sometimes hard to understand. Because it is very steeped in our culture and history and our pain that we carry as Black women, and I think it's important that we keep shedding light in these dark places."

And if people don't understand it? "Good," she says. "You shouldn't understand it. You're seeing something new. Something you've probably never seen, and I hope people can take a moment to  just stay with it, the story, and find some compassion and learn something about the others and about this, I think, very unique point of view that hasn't really been expressed very often throughout our history."

Bruised is now streaming on Netflix.

Listen to the full interview on EW's The Awardist podcast below or available wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe for new episodes every Monday. Our new season covers the road to the 2022 Oscars with in-depth analysis and interviews with Kenneth BranaghMike MillsMaggie GyllenhaalRuth Negga, and more Oscar hopefuls.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best films.

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