Pretty well all of us think that being an actor is a really an easy job. Learn a few lines, make the right expressions to show emotion and when things get a little physical call in the stuntman or woman.
With green backgrounds onto which you can add dangerous looking mountains, car crashes and chases and whatever CGI you like, being an actor would be the most pleasurable job in the world. On top of all that, they pay you squillions!
Unfortunately, it’s not always a bed of roses for the actors in movies. To make a movie as realistic as possible actors are sometimes asked to do some risky things. That’s when it gets interesting because not all of them are perfect physical specimens or freakishly fit and able to do what is asked of them.
Another problem that occurs is that the props used to create the scene are not always made correctly or set up properly and that causes set malfunctions that can seriously injure the star of the movie!
Here’s 9 very lucky actors who escaped serious injury and possible death while making a movie.
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
While making the movie Django Unchained, DiCaprio slammed his fist onto a glass table so hard that it shattered and his hand went through the glass. He needed immediate emergency medical treatment to stop the bleeding from a deep cut. Big Bad Leo demanded they finish the scene before going for treatment.
2. Diane Kruger
Another Quentin Tarantino movie, Inglorious Basterds, in which Kruger’s character was being choked almost turned into a disaster. Tarantino didn’t want to take any risks and decided to do the choking himself but forget to yell: “Cut!” Kruger was unconscious and almost died of asphyxiation.
3. Jason Statham
In the film The Expendables 3 he was drove straight into the ocean after the brakes on the truck he was driving failed. He somehow managed to free himself and swim to safety. That certainly helped his reputation of being a tough badass.
4. Sylvester Stallone
Not all the Rocky movies went smoothly during filming. In Rocky IV Stallone tole Dolph Lundgren to really box like real boxer do for about 15 seconds. Lundgren hit Rocky Balboa so hard that he ended up with a swollen pericardia sac around his heart resulting in Stallone being rushed to hospital where he was in intensive care for 8 days.
5. Meryl Streep
Meryl almost died while filming the movie The River Wild when she fell overboard into the icy waters during a scene. Kevin Bacon was close enough to pull her to safety before Steep would have certainly died.
6. Johnny Depp
Depp has been getting into trouble outside of movie making recently with his trip to Australia and then later accusations about his treatment of his previous girlfriend. However, when on the set of the movie The Lone Ranger in which Depp plays the Indian, Tonto, he was thrown off his horse and almost trampled to death.
7. Jennifer Lawrence
Now famous for the Hunger Games, Lawrence almost died of suffocation after a fog machine malfunctioned and filled the area with smoke. In the scene where she is running through a tunnel the excess amount of smoke made it impossible to breathe.
8. Michael J Fox
We all loved the Back to the Future movies but in No. III, Fox almost died when he misplaced his hands during the hanging scene. Nobody noticed anything was wrong before somebody realised Michael wasn’t acting but was unconscious.
9. George Clooney
When filming Syriana, Clooney injured his back very badly and almost died. His pain was so bad that he even contemplated suicide. He spent weeks lying in bed with an IV in his arm during which time he had a lot of ‘dark’ thoughts about how it was all going to end.
10. Jackie Chan
His amazing stunt tricks during his films have made Jackie Chan enormously popular with movie-going audiences. But sometimes things don’t go as planned. In the movie Armor of God Chan missed his landing when jumping into a tree. He smashed his head when he hit the ground and almost died. These days he has a plastic plate in his head as a result of that near-miss accident.
Jackie’s stunts had another near-miss when he was filming Police Story. He always did his own stunts and in one scene he jumps onto a metal pole, sliding down while light bulbs explode around him. He got it wrong in the timing and ended up with a cracked seventh and eighth vertebrae, a dislocated pelvis and burnt hands, thanks to the lights.
11. Chevy Chase
The movie Modern Problems made in 1981, Chevy Chase was almost electrocuted in that scene where he was dreaming he was an airplane. In that scene he was wearing landing lights when the current short-circuited through his arms, legs and neck muscles. He lost consciousness and had a near-death experience. It took him a long time to recover from that incident which resulted in him suffering deep depression.
12. Isla Fisher
She was certainly no magician as portrayed in the movie Now You See Me during which she almost drowned on set. She was stuck under water for almost 3 minutes while filming a magic trick in a particular scene. She finally was able to activate a quick-release switch and with the help of a stuntman nearby, she was pulled from the water. Almost too late!
These are just a few examples of times when acting almost became reality. The thing we would all like to know is, did the director end up keeping the almost deadly accidents as part of the movie or did they have a re-shoot of the scene?