(Curated story from USAToday.com)
Brian Ortega (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) has been tapped to help train Oscar winner Halle Berry in Jiu Jitsu for an upcoming movie project called “Bruised” that Berry not only is starring in, but running as her directorial debut.
Ortega will help train Berry’s jiu-jitsu chops for the film.
“I’ve been teaching since I was 16 years old — jiu-jitsu. I’m 28 now, so that’s not going to be an issue,” Ortega told TMZ.com. “Of course, because it’s Halle, we’re not going to fight. But the whole thing is, jiu-jitsu is a beautiful art. (It’s one of) those few arts you can go 100 percent and not get hurt. So my main goal is to get her jiu-jitsu looking dope as (expletive). … We’re going to see some cool-ass things in (the movie). We’re going to drill her hard.
“I’m hoping this is the start of something great and she learns something and it looks great in the movie … and after she falls in love with the art, then she’ll be able to say, ‘You know what? I love this (expletive). Let’s keep going.’ “
This past fall, Deadline Hollywood reported the film will star Berry as a former MMA fighter named Jackie Justice “who has failed at the one thing she’s ever been good at — fighting. When 6-year-old Manny, the son she walked out on years ago, returns to her doorstep, Jackie has to conquer her own demons, face one of the fiercest rising stars of the MMA world, and ultimately fight to become the mother this kid deserves.”
The 52-year-old Berry won a Best Actress Oscar in 2002 for her role in “Monster’s Ball.” The honor made her the first black woman to win a Best Actress trophy at the Academy Awards. Berry also has two Screen Actors Guild awards, a Golden Globe and an Emmy among the honors on her resume.
Some of Berry’s most high-profile film roles include Storm in several X-Men movies; a famous Bond girl in “Die Another Day”; and Catwoman. Most recently, she appeared in the “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” sequel and later this year will co-star in “John Wick 3” alongside Keanu Reeves.
Ortega this past December suffered the first loss of his pro career when featherweight champion Max Holloway beat him with a fourth-round TKO in the UFC 231 main event. Ortega’s corner stopped the fight after 20 minutes when the Los Angeles native was deemed too battered to continue. Still, the bout was a “Fight of the Night” winner, giving Ortega five $50,000 bonus wins in his past four fights.
Andy Gonzalez is a coach at Aces Jiu Jitsu Club. He has earned his BJJ Brown Belt under 2nd Degree Black Belt, Professor Mikal Abdullah. Follow Andy on Twitter at @GoGoGonzilla
Andy lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Amanda and their 3 beautiful children. Andy is also the father of a Marine who is honorably serving in the United States Marine Corps.