These Actors Badly Injured While Doing Their Own Stunts
Action movies are famous for featuring fast-paced, pulse-pounding stunts. These harrowing yet thoroughly enjoyable to watch high-stakes sequences are frequently the main draw of such films.
Audiences love sitting on the edge of their seats while watching these unnerving scenes unfold. While none of us would ever intentionally jump out of a burning building or get into a life and death fistfight on top of a moving train, the chance to live vicariously through the gutsy characters seen onscreen is hard to pass up.
Sometimes actors insist on doing their own stuntwork. This is often the case with macho action movie stars who insist on earning every last penny of their paychecks. But then you have Hollywood hotshots like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt who could easily afford to let someone else do all of the death-defying stuntwork for them but instead insist upon doing the majority of their big-screen stunts.
Perhaps such stars just want to flaunt their masculinity as some kind of flex, or maybe they simply want their films to look as realistic as possible. Regardless of the reasons why stars choose to do their own stuns, sometimes accidents happen, and big-name actors end up getting seriously hurt on set.
Join Facts Verse as we discuss a few of these actors who badly injured while doing their own stunts.
While filming Syriana, George decided to forego bringing in a stunt performer while shooting a scene that involved bound to chair and getting the tar beaten out of him. Unfortunately, the chair fell over while he strapped to it, resulting in the actor hitting his head hard against the floor.
Clooney ended up tearing his dura – the sack that holds in your spinal fluid. For months and even years after the incident, the actor left in a tremendous amount of pain and even considered ending his life at one point. Fortunately, he has since recovered from the injury.
While on the set of 1973s The Exorcist, Burstyn seriously injured while doing some wirework. Not only the room that the exorcism filmed in kept at very low temperatures so that the effects crew didn’t have to use too much fog, but there were several other occupational hazards present as well.
In one scene, the girl who possessed by the demon pushed her mom, played by Burstyn, aggressively to the floor. Since the film’s director wanted to make the fall look realistic, they used a wire rig to pull Burstyn to the ground.
After the first take, Burstyn landed hard, but she told the director that she knew that the scene had to look as convincing as possible. That being said, she suspected that she could injured if something went wrong.
Well, Burstyn called it, because after landing particularly hard in the following takes, she left with lasting spinal injuries.
While running across rooftops for an action scene in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Yeoh tore her ACL and needed to have surgery to repair it. For the remainder of the film’s production, she had to wear a brace that couldn’t seen on camera. It took Michelle three months to recover before she was ready to get back into the action.
Tom almost died during the filming of Castaway. At one point during filming, he cut his leg. Hanks subsequently developed a pretty gnarly staph infection. His doctors informed him that if he had gone on much longer without seeking medical treatment, he very well could have killed by the infection.
The wound probably didn’t seem like it was that big of deal to the veteran actor who insisted on continuing to film the movie. But when he finally received medical treatment, he had to hospitalized for three days, and the movie’s production had to shut down for three weeks, since Hanks wasn’t able to enter the water with his open wound.
Enjoying this video? If so, give it a like and subscribe to the Facts Verse channel! Stay tuned to learn about several other actors who have gotten badly injured while on the set of major Hollywood films.
While filming Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn, injured on set several times.
One of his worst injuries sustained when they filmed a scene in which Aragorn delivered a rousing pep talk to the company he’s leading outside of Mordor.
The location where the scene shot previously used by the New Zealand military for training purposes. That means that the crew had to draw up a map of ‘safe zones’ showing where the actors could go without accidentally blowing themselves to smithereens.
While filming the scene, Mortensen decided to do a bit of improvisation and strolled outside of the safe zone. Fortunately, none of the buried bombs detonated, but he could have died if they had triggered.
Additionally, Mortensen sustained a black eye while he was learning how to surf on an off day from shooting. On another occasion, he chipped a tooth while filming the battle of Helm’s Deep. Reportedly he requested that the piece of tooth get glued back on so he could finish shooting the scene.
While shooting a scene for Mission Impossible: Fallout, that involved him jumping from one building to another, Cruised banged his ankle against a wall. He sustained a broken ankle, but the take still used in the final cut of the film. Join Facts Verse as we discuss a few of these actors who badly injured while doing their own stunts.
While filming the 2004 Greek mythological Trojan war film Troy, in which he played the hero Achilles, Brad Pitt figured that if he was going to be playing one of the greatest ancient warriors of all time, he might as well go all in and do his own stunts.
To prepare for the role, Pitt hit the gym and bulked up. If he was to do his own stunts, he at least wanted to look the part.
Ironically while filming the movie, Pitt injured his Achilles tendon. He suffered the injury while filming a fight scene that took place in sand. The film’s production had to be shut down for six weeks to allow the ‘Fight Club’ actor to heal. Join Facts Verse as we discuss a few of these actors who badly injured while doing their own stunts.
Burt Reynolds didn’t just play the part of a tough guy, the man WAS a tough guy. The mustache-wearing sex symbol chose to do the majority of his own stunts back in the 70s and 80s despite the fact that his trusty stuntman Hal Needham was always on standby.
While filming 1972s Deliverance, Reynolds determined to do the scene in which his character’s canoe plunges over a 25-foot waterfall on his own. The film’s director, John Boorman, wanted to use a dummy or stunt double for the risky action scene, but Reynolds wasn’t about to listen to reason.
While filming the daring scene, Reynolds almost drowned and ended up rushed to the ER. Years later, he finally admitted that the failed stunt changed his life forever.
Apparently, after he went over the waterfall, he hit a rock and cracked his tailbone.
Before doing the scene, one of the stunt guys told him that if he were to get caught up in the hydrofoil, his best bet was to swim to bottom and it would shoot him out. What he wasn’t told, however, that it would be like getting shot out of a canon.
When he finally emerged from the water, he was nearly a half-mile away and naked. The falls had torn his clothing and shoes off. While he might have lost his wardrobe and sustained a serious injury, at least he didn’t lose his life. Join Facts Verse as we discuss a few of these actors who badly injured while doing their own stunts.
This Academy Award-winning actress nearly drowned while filming a scene for the blockbuster hit Titanic.
The incident that nearly claimed her life happened during a water scene after her coat got caught on a gate while she was underwater.
Winslet later said that she had to ‘shimmy’ out of the coat in order to free herself. She had no breath left and just barely managed to get out of the coat before losing consciousness. Join Facts Verse as we discuss a few of these actors who badly injured while doing their own stunts.
Throughout his career, appearing in more than 150 films, martial arts master and filmmaker Jackie Chan broke almost every bone in his body. But even though he regularly got injured on the set of his movies, Chan insisted on doing all of his own stunts regardless of what price his body would have to pay for doing so.
While shooting the 1986 Hong Kong action flick The Armour of God, which Jackie had both written and directed, he sustained one of the worse injuries of his storied career.
Chan lost several teeth, broke his jaw, skull, and nose, and also suffered a serious brain hemorrhage in a stunt that, on paper, didn’t even pose a high degree of danger considering his skill set.
Chan sustained these injuries after attempting to leap from a wall to a tree. He wasn’t able to safely grab onto the tree’s limb and wound up tumbling down to the ground from a height of 40 feet.
To make matters worse, Chan was intoxicated while filming the scene. He insisted on drinking real beer while shooting the sequence so that the audience could see the fizzy drinks carbonation. After attempting the jump successfully in one take, he decided to give it another go to see if he could make it look more realistic. Before going for round two, however, he tipped back another beer to prep. Likely, if he wasn’t inebriated, he would have successfully pulled off the second jump wihout incident.
After being rushed to the hospital, surgeons repaired Chan’s fractured skull and stopped the bleeding. Once he recovered, Chan continued to perform his own stunts in his films.
While filming a fight scene for Django Unchained, Leo slammed his fist against a table. In the process, his hand broke a glass that had been sitting on the table. He kept in character but was left with a bloody gash that required him to receive several stitches.
We’re unfortunately just about out of time, but we’d love to hear from you.
Did you know that Burt Reynolds almost died after going over a 25-foot-tall waterfall during the filming of Deliverance and that Jackie Chan was nearly fatally injured after falling forty feet during the production of The Armour of God?
Let us know in the comments.
Before you go, take a second to show Facts Verse a little support by giving this video a like and by subscribing to our channel. Don’t forget to smash that bell to turn on notifications. That way, you can keep up with all of our latest videos as soon as they drop.
As always, thanks for watching!