Actors put their lives on the line for their job, and many go above and beyond for their roles. Unfortunately, this can lead to injuries on set. It’s rather admiring that many actors out there will perform their own stunts. From burned private parts to having brain injuries, actors are in no way immune from getting hurt, especially while trying to achieve the perfect shot. Below are a list of the top 15 injuries succumbed by actors while filming on set.
15. Channing Tatum- Scorched Privates
While in Scotland filming The Eagle, Actor Channing Tatum suffered a severe burn to one of the most awful places (at least for men)… his penis. Tatum was filming a scene in a freezing river and to stay warm actors would pour a mix of boiling water and river water down their suits. Tatum was asked by a crew member if he wanted some warm water, however the crew member forgot to mix the boiling water with the river water. As a result the water was so hot it burnt the skin off the tip of his penis.
Tatum was rushed to the hospital and put on morphine. Thankfully he healed just fine.
14. Kristin Chenoweth- Hit Head
Actress Kristin Chenoweth was shooting a guest appearance on The Good Wife when she was hit on the head by a piece of equipment and knocked unconscious. She was transported to the hospital and had to stay overnight. In an interview, Chenoweth stated “I couldn’t really form a sentence after it happened…. I have a skull fracture.” She also suffered from rib and hip issues as a result of the piece of lighting equipment falling on her. Unfortunately as a result of the injuries she sustained, Chenoweth was unable to return to The Good Wife to continue her guest role.
13. Jason Statham- Nearly Drowns
While filming The Expendables 3, British actor Jason Statham came close to a near death experience… by almost drowning. What sounds like a perfect scene in a movie, was actually a real life situation.
The actor was driving a truck when the brakes failed to work, as a result he goes over a dock and into the “Black Sea”. Fortunately, Statham is able to free himself from the truck and swim to the top. The actor walked away injury-free, but the terror in almost drowning is enough to trump any injury.
12. George Clooney- Hurt Back
Actor George Clooney suffered a severe spine injury when a stunt went wrong while on the set of Syriana. In fact, the injury was so painful Clooney once said in an interview “I was at a point where I thought, I can’t exist like this. I can’t actually live.” When evaluated by doctor’s it was revealed that there was fluid leaking from Clooney’s spine. As a result of his injury Clooney had to have spine surgery, but one good thing did come out of his role in this film… He won an Oscar for his supportive role in the movie!
11. Nicole Kidman- Fractured Ribs
Actress Nicole Kidman suffered injuries while on the set of Moulin Rouge. She cracked a rib and injured her knee while rehearsing a dance scene with co-star Ewan MacGregor when he accidentally dropped her. And that’s not it… her rib cracked again due to a corset when she returned to filming. Kidman and the crew thought the corset would hold it in place, but it actually cracked it again.
10. Isla Fisher- Almost Drowns
Actress Isla Fisher came close to drowning while filming on the set of Now You See Me. She was filming a magic trick and a chain got caught, subsequently keeping her stuck underwater.
Isla states that her “chain got stuck… I couldn’t get up… I was actually drowning.” Fortunately she was able to free herself using a quick-release switch, and a stuntman close by assisted with her escape.
9. Leonardo DiCaprio- Sliced Hand Open
Leonardo DiCaprio was shooting a scene that required him to slam his hand on the table for Django Unchained. He slammed it so much that he crushed a crystal glass, which caused a huge gash in his hand requiring stiches.
8. Halle Berry- Broken Arm
While filming Gothika, Halle Berry had her arm accidentally broken by co-star Robert Downey Jr. They were shooting a scene in a mental ward in which Downey was supposed to hold down Berry’s arm. However, as Berry struggled (part of the scene), Downey said he felt a pop. The movie was halted for 8 weeks for Berry to recover, and she completed filming with a small cast that went from her elbow to her wrist.
7. Jaimie Alexander- Hurt Back
While filming the movie Thor: The Dark World, actress Jaimie Alexander took an awful fall when she slipped off a metal staircase. Jaimie stated that it was dark and raining outside when she slipped, and “it took me out of filming for a month.” As a result of the fall, she sustained numerous injuries including a slipped disc in her spine, chipped 11 of her vertebrae, tore a rhomboid on her left side, and dislocated her left shoulder.
6. Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Cut Arm
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt was filming a scene for the movie Premium Rush when he crashed into the back of a taxi and suffered an extensive injury to his right arm. In Hollywood, rather than using real glass they use a substance made of sugar so when actor’s and stuntmen crash into it, it will not cut or injure them. Unfortunately, when Gordon-Levitt crashed into the taxi it wasn’t sugar glass his right arm went through. It was real glass, causing a large cut, thus requiring 31 stiches.
5. John Abraham- Shot
John Abraham, a Bollywood actor, was almost killed on set when he was accidently shot by co-star Anil Kapoor while filming Shootout at Wadala. Kapoor was initially meant to shoot a blank bullet at Abraham from 15-feet away, however the bullet was shot closer. Unfortunately the mistake lies in the hands of the crew who did not inform the actors that they were standing way too close together during the shooting scene.
Fortunately, Kapoor doesn’t have good aim, resulting in the bullet only hitting Abraham in the side of the neck. If it were to have hit in the middle the results could have been deadly. Abraham said nobody expected the intensity and velocity of the blank bullets.
4. Johnny Depp- Fell off a Horse
Actor Johnny Depp suffered a near death experience while filming The Lone Ranger. Depp was attempting his own stunt while riding a horse when things went terribly wrong. While he was riding the horse the saddle came loose and Depp was thrown, barely hanging on while he was drug 25 yards. Depp stated my horse had it in for me. This popular, A-list star was lucky he wasn’t trampled or seriously injured.
3. Kellan Lutz- Slashed by Machete
During a fight scene for The Killing Game, actor Kellan Lutz accidentally slashed his chest with a machete. While Lutz is known to enjoy doing his own stunts, he admits this one got out of hand. He was struck in the chest by a machete during a daring scene, which left a nasty scar.
2. Brad Pitt- Achilles Tendon
While filming a killing scene in Troy, Pitt tore his left Achilles tendon. The movie was forced to stop filming for 10 weeks as a result of Pitt’s injury. Ironic in a way… like the myth, looks like Pitt’s one weakness was his Achilles, just like the character he was playing.
1. Jackie Chan- Brain Injury
It’s no secret, Jackie Chan is known for performing his own stunts, and suffering from many injuries. However the injury he sustained while filming Armour of God may be his worst. A simple stunt turned into brain surgery for Chan. While shooting a scene that required Chan to jump from a castle wall to a tree, he missed the tree branch and slammed his head into the ground. The impact was so intense that a piece of his skull shot into his brain, and blood poured from his ears. Luckily, after being rushed into emergency brain surgery, Chan made a complete recovery.