It was an easy decision for “Bruised” star Shamier Anderson to throw his hat into the ring.

The actor said he knew it was a “no brainer” to join Halle Berry’s directorial debut before he even finished reading the script. He relished making a movie that offers in-depth insight into the world of mixed martial arts.

“When you really zoom into it, these ... are individuals with so much heart and passion and wanting to be great,” Anderson told the Daily News.

“MMA athletes are individuals who are versatile, because you have to be able to have the mental game. You have to be able to have the physical game, and you also have to be able to have the emotional game. There’s so many factors that it takes to be able to be such a skilled fighter, and in this particular story, it goes to show that there’s so much that happens outside of the ring.”

The film, which premiered Wednesday on Netflix, stars Berry as Jackie Justice, a former MMA athlete who wants to make a comeback. Anderson’s character, Immaculate, owns a female fighting organization and offers Jackie the chance to return.

“Bruised” depicts the intense grind Jackie goes through to get back into shape while dealing with hardships in her personal life.

“Even though in the film Immaculate can be perceived as a tough guy, mean, villainesque at some points, Immaculate leads with love,” Anderson, 30, said. “Immaculate is that tough uncle, that tough dad, that tough brother that wants the best for that person. Truly, he wants the best for Jackie Justice.”

“Bruised” is the latest high-profile project for the Toronto-born Anderson, who starred earlier this year in Netflix’s space-set thriller “Stowaway” and has a main role on the new Apple TV+ science-fiction series “Invasion.”

He also recently finished filming “John Wick: Chapter 4.” The director of that movie, Chad Stahelski, was an executive producer on “Bruised” who previously worked with Berry on the third “John Wick” film.

“I sat down with Chad because of my role as Immaculate, and Chad was like, ‘I remember you, man. I liked what you did there.’ That film was a catalyst to having me in ‘John Wick,’” Anderson said.

“When I had that interview with Chad, I actually had texted Halle Berry and said, ‘If you could put in a good word for me,’ and whatever happened behind the scenes happened. ... I truly believe that if Halle hadn’t cast me in that movie, I probably wouldn’t have met Chad, and I probably wouldn’t have been in ‘John Wick.’”

Anderson praised Berry as both a co-star and as a director, describing her as “extremely collaborative” and “a visionary.”

“She really, really pushed for the best,” Anderson said, “which I loved about her.”

———

©2021 New York Daily News. Visit at nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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