When it comes to creating big-budget action films or ensuring that the latest summer blockbuster will keep audiences on the edge of their seats, Hollywood has a whole host of tricks that they can use to give a scene that extra thrill factor.
From fighting off CGI monsters to wielding swords in epic battle scenes, actors are expected to train for months to achieve the perfect shot. Movie sets are often home to hundreds of stunt doubles, choreographers, weapons experts and trainers who are responsible for making sure action looks as real as possible.
Unfortunately sometimes, even with safety precautions in place, accidents can happen and people end up getting hurt or even seriously injured whilst on set.
Here are just some of the Hollywood actors who paid the price when errors on set lead to stunts and scenes going horribly wrong.
Tom Cruise: Mission Impossible Fallout
With classic films like ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Cocktail’ listed on his resume, not to mention the ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise, multi-talented actor Tom Cruise is one of the undisputed Kings of Hollywood.
Not only this, but Cruise is famed for doing many of his stunts and is even rumoured to have been refused insurance due to his insistence on performing daring and dangerous scenes without the use of a body double.
Cruise’s fearless attitude was evident when in 2018 he broke his ankle during a chase scene for the latest MI instalment – ‘Mission Impossible: Fall Out.’
The accident, which was captured on camera, sees Cruise running across a rooftop before attempting to leap one building to another. Unfortunately, the actor misjudged the distance and smashed into the wall of the next building.
Ever the professional, Cruise continued the scene and was then seen limping away with his injured foot bent at a horrifying angle.
He later made a full recovery and joked about the incident when the footage was revealed.
Daniel Graig: James Bond 25
Not to be outdone by fellow Hollywood heavyweight Tom Cruise, 51-year-old ‘James Bond’ actor Daniel Craig also recently suffered from an ankle injury which lead to production on the latest film in the spy series to be put on hold.
Craig, who has played James Bond since 2005 is rumoured to have needed surgery following a bad fall during a chase scene they were filming for the as of yet untitled movie due for release next year.
Although the extent of his injuries has not been revealed, Craig was seen wearing a cast and using crutches following surgery to correct the damage.
The actor, who was good-humoured about the whole incident, has confirmed that the movie will continue shooting, as planned, and the release date will not be put back.
This is not the first time Daniel Craig has been injured since taking up the role of the famed British spy – he had to undergo shoulder surgery following the filming of 2008’s ‘Quantum of Solace’.
Isla Fisher: Now You See Me
Former ‘Home and Away’ soap star turned film actress Isla Fisher infamously had a brush with death when filming scenes for the 2013 hit movie ‘Now You See Me.’
The Australian actress, who is married to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, was fully submerged in a tank of freezing water to perform her character’s daring Houdini-style escape trick. Unfortunately, the stunt did not go to plan and Fisher struggled to get free from the shackles she was wearing.
To keep the actress safe there was a button installed on the tank, designed to drain the water should something go wrong. Unfortunately, Fisher was unable to reach the button due to her restraints.
The actress later revealed that the crew who were filming had not realised she was struggling for air, believing that Fisher was only acting in the scene. She was submerged for almost a full three minutes.
Fortunately, she was eventually able to get free and, after a few minutes to get her breath back, carried on filming without any problems.
Harrison Ford: Star Wars, The Force Awakens
Now 77 years old, the much-loved actor who is best known for playing the iconic roles of both Han Solo in the ‘Star Wars’ saga and Indiana Jones has suffered more than his fair share of on-set injuries during a lifetime in the limelight.
Whilst fans were thrilled to see Ford return to his most iconic role when he began shooting scenes for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in 2014, the actor was not so happy when an accident on set happened that could have potentially killed him.
The veteran actor was working at the renowned Pinewood Studios when a hydraulic door fell, narrowly avoiding hitting Ford full-on and instead of landing on his leg.
Director JJ Abrams assisted the crew with removing the door and Ford was sent to the hospital. The actor was left needing a metal plate and screws in his leg, as he had suffered a nasty fracture.
Fans were relieved to hear he went on to recover well following his surgery.
Jason Statham: The Expendables
His previous experience of competitive diving came in handy for actor Jason Statham when a stunt went wrong during the filming of the third instalment in the ‘Expendables’ trilogy.
Former Olympic standard diver Statham was in a truck on location when the three-tonne vehicles’ brakes failed and both Statham and the lorry were plunged into the sea. Crew members and camera crews watched stunned as the truck disappeared, dragging the actor down with it.
Moments later Statham surfaced, uninjured, and was able to make his way to safety before being checked out by a medical team.
Witnesses to the accident were shocked, later stating that anyone else would have certainly drowned.
Leonardo Di Caprio: Django Unchained
Movie fans are more likely to remember that infamous scene where Di Caprio’s character in ‘The Revenant’ wrestled a grizzly bear, then they are to recall any other scene the actor has done during his long career.
However, it wasn’t during the filming of ‘The Revenant’ that Di Caprio suffered an on-set injury that required him to need multiple stitches.
It was, in fact, during a fairly simple scene on the set of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ when Leonardo accidentally smashed a glass against a table.
The glass broke, with shards instantly impaling the actor’s hand. Di Caprio was able to continue filming despite the pain and did not stop until the whole scene was in the can.
He was given stitches later and the scene was not edited. Fans of the movie were shocked to realise that the blood seen on the table was not propped blood but was actually Di Caprio’s.
Jackie Chan: The Medallion
International megastar and martial arts expert Jackie Chan has sustained so many injuries during his film career that we could easily build a list just out of those alone.
Having suffered everything from cuts and bruises to a fractured skull, Chan has always been insistent on doing his own stunts.
The actor, who is originally from Hong Kong, has broken multiple bones performing his stunning action sequences and is still actively making action movies at the age of 65.
One of Chan’s most horrifying accidents took place on the set of his 2003 film ‘The Medallion’ when a steel cable snapped, lashing back and hitting the actor in the face.
The cable narrowly missed Chan’s eye and while the actor had certainly suffered from more painful injuries in his time, this one could have left him completely blind and thus put an end to his career of more than fifty years.
Kate Winslet: Titanic
English actress Kate Winslet has never been shy when it comes to recounting the long days and high pressure that she faced when filming 1997 smash-hit blockbuster ‘Titanic’ along with fellow co-star Leonardo Di Caprio.
The movie, which depicts the sinking of the ill-fated ocean liner, saw cast members spending hours submerged in tanks of freezing water, weighed down by wet clothes and having to perform brutal action sequences over and over again.
One particularly harrowing scene saw Winslet and Di Caprio slammed by raging waters against a locked iron gate.
However, whilst Di Caprio was able to move freely, Winslet’s coat was caught in the gate preventing her from surfacing.
It was later revealed that to make the cast’s reactions more realistic, real ocean water was used to film the scenes and was freezing cold.
This made filming the scenes even more dangerous as cast members were so cold.
George Clooney: Syriana
It might have been nearly 15 years since George Clooney filmed drama Syriana, but the actor still suffers from residual pain as a result of a nasty injury that he received during shooting.
The actor, who is best known for his roles in medical drama ER and for taking the lead role in Joel Schumacher’s ‘Batman and Robin’, was filming shots when he fell from a chair and hit his head. Clooney suffered from a cracked skull and was in horrendous pain.
It wasn’t until much later that the full extents of his injuries were actually revealed. Unable to cope with the pain, Clooney sought medical help and was shocked to discover that he was leaking spinal fluid. The actor was then subjected to a brutal treatment regime which saw him having to have multiple injections in his spine.
Despite the incident leaving him depressed and anxious for a very long time, Clooney went on to recover, however, he still suffers from long-term spinal damage.
The actor asked when questioned – “I was in a place where I was trying to figure out how to survive.”
Jeremy Renner: Tag/Avengers Infinity War
When you’re the actor who portrays one of the world’s most famous archers, breaking both arms whilst onset is far from ideal. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to Avenger’s actor Jeremy Renner when filming his 2018 comedy ‘Tag’.
Renner, who has played Hawkeye in the Avengers film franchise since 2011’s “Thor”, managed to fracture the bones in both his arms when he fell from a stack of chairs when filming with co-star Jon Hamm.
The actor continued filming both movies however CGI was needed at times to disguise the casts he was forced to wear. Renner received physical therapy following the accident but was able to return to the MC universe immediately.
The actor did admit that it was a struggle using his famous bow and arrow though.
Brandon Lee – The Crow
Probably the most infamous, and tragically the most dangerous, stunt gone wrong in Hollywood history was that of Brandon Lee, actor and son of the internationally acclaimed martial artist Bruce Lee.
Lee was fatally wounded by a gun when a mix-up onset led to the actor accidentally being shot with a real gun, as opposed to the prop gun that was supposed to be used.
After shooting multiple scenes with the stunt-gun, the crew were horrified when Brandon was hit in the stomach. Despite several hours of surgery in an attempt to save his life, the actor was pronounced dead at just the age of 28.
Investigations revealed that a functioning bullet had become lodged in the chambers of the gun despite the crew believing they had loaded it only with dummy rounds.
The movie ‘The Crow’ was completed with the support of Brandon’s family and went on to become a massive success and Lee was instantly propelled to worldwide recognition.