A group of middle school and high school students from Atlantic City were invited to the visit the set of Halle Berry's new movie, where she offered them some inspiring words for reaching their dreams.

Berry is starring in and directing Bruised about a former MMA fighter who's fallen on hard times and scraping to make her way back to the top. The movie's crew has been set up at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for several days filming scenes.

The Oscar-winning actress met with students from the Atlantic City Middle and High School’s “AC Xclusive Drill Team”, who all looked starstruck the minute they saw her.

Berry, now 53, arrived looking youthful and fit (in the best shape of her life, actually), more diminutive then I had expected, but totally unassuming. She took her time hugging and shaking hands with everyone in the room, before stopping to talk to them a little bit about the movie making process, and never giving up even in the face of adversity. Her words even brought one teen to tears.

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Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small and CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty were also in attendance.

Berry also talked about the fight to get this movie made, telling SoJO 104.9 that the script was originally written for a 20-year Caucasian woman. But she saw herself not only playing to role of Jackie Justice, but choosing this project to make her directorial debut. It took her a year and a half, but she finally made it her own.

There's a South Jersey connection here, too. Jason Pinardo, born and raised in Gloucester Township and a graduate of Paul VI High School, is not only part of the film's crew, Berry credits him for making the shoots at Boardwalk Hall happen.

This film is also being shot in under 30 days, which is unheard of, so it's beyond cool that Halle and the movie crew chose to spend some time with some local kids. And, thanks for inviting SoJO 104.9 to be part of it!

Photos from the set of Bruised in Atlantic City:

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