Slash Film

Over the years, the “John Wick” franchise has become a playground for the most venerated action stars — and stunt performers — to showcase their skills and duke it out with other legends. But they’re not the only ones looking to get in on the fun: the films have also attracted plenty of actors eager to demonstrate their own passion for stunt work. In “John Wick: Chapter 4,” Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, and singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama will fight alongside (and against) action icons like Donnie Yen and Scott Adkins. They also join the ranks of performers like Common, Willem Dafoe, and Halle Berry, all of whom trained hard to sell their roles as battle-hardened assassins in prior installments.

Berry’s own work in “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” has since become the stuff of legend. The Oscar winner famously gave her all to her role as Sofia Al-Azwar, and though she only appears in about a third of the film, she became a fan favorite all the same. Berry’s performance in “Parabellum” — and her tireless dedication to perfecting every part of it — was a near-flawless demonstration of her skills as an actress. It had a lot of fans asking why she’d never been offered a meaty role like that before. The answer isn’t so much a mystery as it is a painful truth: Black actresses are rarely considered for said roles, let alone offered them. It’s probably the reason why Berry had to take matters into her own hands, essentially casting herself in “Parabellum” before the script was even finished. 

‘She’s Awesome. She’s Halle Berry’

“John Wick” director Chad Stahelski recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the franchise, and in the process shared a story about Halle Berry’s casting in “John Wick 3.” Berry apparently got wind of the new “John Wick” project when it was still in the early stages. “I got a call from WME when we were still writing ‘John Wick 3,’ like, ‘What do you think of Halle Berry?’ Well, she’s awesome. She’s Halle Berry,” Stahelski recalled. “And then they said, ‘She’s coming to see you. Today.'” Stahelski continued:

“I swear to you, that afternoon I get a knock on the door, and it’s Halle Berry. She didn’t miss a beat and said, ‘I’m just coming to see you because I’m going to be in your next movie.’ I’m like, ‘Are you?’ Straight face she says, ‘Yes, and I’m going to train my ass off.'”

And train she did. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder or longer to prepare for a part in a movie,” Berry told People in 2019. The actor trained in jiu-jitsu and firearms, and even became a dog trainer to prep for “Parabellum.” She sustained a few injuries too — the most notable being three broken ribs — but Berry doesn’t regret a thing. Her performance was very much a thesis for the kind of work she could be doing; hopefully Hollywood doesn’t need to be reminded again.

Read this next: The 14 Greatest Action Movies Of The 21st Century

The post Chad Stahelski Reveals How Halle Berry Cast Herself In John Wick 3 appeared first on /Film.

/Film – Chad Stahelski Reveals How Halle Berry Cast Herself In John Wick 3
Author: Lyvie Scott
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March 14, 2023

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