When you watch a breathtaking scene in a movie where one of the characters exhibits superhuman strength or abilities, at the back of your mind you know that special effects have a huge role to play in that moment. The more a movie breaks the laws of nature, the more the production crew has to work hard to provide a safe environment for the actors and hide all the effects from the viewers.
In addition to exercising the highest possible level of caution in scenes where actors have to perform dangerous stunts, movie producers opt to use stunt professionals instead of the actors. The two main reasons for using stunt doubles include the fact that most insurance companies will not compensate actors who suffer injuries on set, and that these professionals eliminate the headache of having to replace a key actor owing to a serious injury after shooting is already underway. The stunt professionals know how to handle themselves in the worst-case scenarios, making them the ideal people to handle all the risky stunts in a movie.
Sadly, some actors and stunt professionals have lost their lives while shooting a movie, while others are lucky enough to have sustained minor, and at times serious injuries, but lived to tell the story. Regardless of whether the following actors were performing life-threatening stunts or just acting out a part that seemed to have no risk of injury at all, they surely have no wish of reliving these injuries again.
10 Robert Downey Jr. on the set of Iron Man 3
9 Nicole Kidman on the set of Moulin Rouge
Nicole Kidman's success in Hollywood has come at the cost of a few injuries. One of her most famous movies, Moulin Rouge, left her with an injury that took almost two years to recover fully from. While on set, Kidman fractured two of her ribs and sustained a knee injury, a situation that led to her shooting the rest of the movie while in a wheelchair.
During the course of filming the thriller movie The Invasion, Kidman and seven other actors sustained minor injuries when the vehicle they were in hit a light pole. Although they were not shooting the movie at that particular moment, the incident caused a bit of a scare at the time.
8 Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of Django Unchained
7 Sylvester Stallone on the set of Rocky IV and The Expendables 3
6 Jaimie Alexander on the set of Thor: The Dark World
Jaimie Alexander plays the role of a fictional Marvel character called Sif in the movie Thor and its Sequel Thor: The Dark World. Despite being a tough Asgardian Warrior on set, in real life she is as prone to accidents as the best of us. While shooting The Dark World, Alexander fell down a metal staircase and injured her shoulder and vertebrae, injuries that landed her in the hospital. Since it was very early in the morning with no light outside, the accident was almost inevitable. She took a month-long break from filming to ensure a complete recovery, and thereafter she soon resumed her role as a warrior in Asgard.
5 Jim Caviezel on the set of The Passion of the Christ
His role as Jesus Christ in the movie The Passion of the Christ was one of Jim Caviezel's all-time favorites, despite the unique challenges he faced on set. During filming, Jim dislocated his shoulder, suffered pneumonia and a lung infection, battled hypothermia, experienced severe headaches and skin infections, and to crown it all he was struck by lightning. The lightning strike was one of the scariest moments that Jim found himself in while shooting the movie. It was unpredictable and bizarre, and the fact that he did not suffer serious injuries from the strike is a miracle in itself.
4 Halle Berry on the set of Several Movies
3 Jackie Chan on the set of Armour of God and The Accidental Spy
2 Malcolm McDowell on the set of A Clockwork Orange
1 Channing Tatum on the set of The Eagle of the Ninth
In his role as Marcus Aquila in the movie The Eagle of the Ninth, Channing Tatum had to wade through freezing rivers in a thin wetsuit. In between takes, an assistant would pour warm water down his wetsuit to keep him warm. The assistant would mix boiling water and the cold water from the river to achieve the perfect temperature. However, the accident happened when the assistant forgot to mix the boiling water with the freezing water from the river. In his words, Tatum experienced an unexplainable and suffocating pain, especially when the scolding water reached his privates. At the hospital, the morphine did wonders on Tatum who is currently in great shape and fully healed.