When we watch movies, especially action ones, we often think that it’s unbelievable that actors have such scenes to play. Their roles seem amazing, but we often realize it’s not entirely real. However, sometimes, actors really need to do dangerous maneuvers to perform their greatest roles. Some decide to leave it to professional stuntmen and women, but some are so brave that they take on these lethal scenes on their own. And that’s why we love them. They do this only for the sake of entertaining us. That’s credibility, right there!
Let’s take a look at some of the bravest actors who went above and beyond for our viewing pleasure.
1. Tom Hanks
You may be surprised to learn that we almost lost America’s sweetheart, Tom Hanks, during the filming of Cast Away. The beloved actor, on top of dramatic weight loss (and gain), severely cut his leg whilst shooting a scene. Such a brave man!
Source: YouTube | 20th Century Fox
2. Kate Winslet
This brave actress nearly lost her life while filming an intense action scene for Titanic. Kate and her partner, Leonardo DiCaprio, had to sprint for their lives as rushing water fills up a thin corridor. This is what happened. Kate’s thick jacket, unfortunately, got stuck on a gate that she was supposed to get through and was nearly drowned. Now that’s commitment!
Source: Instagram | @kate.winslet.official
3. Brad Pitt
The 1995 thriller, Se7en, was an instant classic as soon as it hit theaters. But what many are unaware of is that Brad Pitt damaged one of the tendons in his arm after accidentally smashing through a windshield during a take. As you may have noticed later on in the film, his character is wearing a cast. And it’s totally real! How cool is that?!
Source: YouTube | Movieclips Trailer Vault
4. Charlize Theron
The stunning actress herniated a disc in her back when she was in the midst of a backflip for the movie, Aeon Flux. The injury was pretty intense, and she nearly damaged her spinal cord permanently. This resulted in her doing multiple weeks of physical therapy which, in turn, stopped production on the entire project until she was given the all clear.
Source: Instagram | @charlizeafrica
5. Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum’s intensity on the set of the movie Foxcatcher somehow worried the director, Bennett Miller. Bennet was pretty honest about one such scene: “He punched that thing with his head three times and shattered it, and put his head through it and through the frame behind the mirror and through the drywall that the mirror was hanging on and left a divot two inches deep.” Intense!
Source: Tumblr | destiny2-official
6. Halle Berry
As a matter of fact, Halle’s been hurt during filming, numerous times in her illustrious career. She suffered a head injury on Catwoman, broke her foot while filming Cloud Atlas, broke her arm during Gothika, and she even nearly asphyxiated herself when she choked on a fig during Die Another Day. She’s got so many dangerous-filming stories to tell!
Source: Instagram | @halleberry
7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
JGL has been in some awesome action movies but his gnarliest onset injury came while filming Premium Rush. As he was speeding through traffic on his bike, a cab ignored the barricade set up by the production staff and got into an accident with the young actor. Joseph sliced up his forearm pretty good after careening through the cab’s back window. Poor him!
Source: Instagram | @hitrecordjoe
8. Isla Fisher
In this anxiety-inducing scene from Now You See Me, Isla Fisher is supposed to appear like she’s struggling before freeing herself from a watery demise. However, during filming, she got stuck to the bottom of the tank and almost drowned for real. Luckily, she was able to surface in time to a round of applause. The crew just thought she was just a tremendous actress. This is not a fun situation to find yourself in.
Source: YouTube | JoBlo Movie Trailers
9. Sylvester Stallone
Stubborn Stallone underwent multiple surgeries after The Expendables films. But we can’t really blame it all on old age. When he was younger, he shattered his ribs during a Rambo stunt.
Source: Instagram | @officialslystallone
10. Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in Django: Unchained was more than phenomenal. Remember the scene in which Leo slams his hand on a table and cuts his hand up pretty good? That was not even in the script. He did this for real and delivered one of the more iconic scenes in the film.
11. Jennifer Lawrence
This actress almost lost consciousness after a malfunctioning smoke machine hit her with an onslaught of smog while filming in a compact tunnel. The Hunger Games star survived the incident with only a slight case of nausea and dizziness. A Strong lady, indeed!
Source: YouTube | Movieclips Trailers
12. Matthew Fox
There’s a lot of heavy scenes in the show, LOST. A memorable fight between Terry O’Quinn and Matthew Fox almost resulted in an actual death. Terry accidentally picked up a prop knife that didn’t retract (so, basically, a real knife) and stabbed Fox. Luckily, the actor was wearing a protective Kevlar vest. This is a scary one!
13. Viggo Mortensen
It’s easy to assume some actors got hurt during the action in the movie, The Lord of the Rings, but you may be surprised to learn how Mr. Mortensen injured himself. After nailing four separate takes of kicking a helmet, Viggo was instructed by director, Peter Jackson, to give it one more go. His next (and last) take left him with two broken toes.
Source: YouTube | Movieclips
14. Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton, the woman who played the Wicked Witch of the West in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz had an interesting ordeal onset. For her exit, she was supposed to disappear through a trapdoor in a whirlwind of fire and smoke. However, she caught the business end of a flamethrower — leaving her face and hands severely burnt.
15. Jason Statham
While shooting a scene for The Expendables, Jason Statham drove a truck into the water after his brakes malfunctioned. Statham, however, was able to surface unscathed. Incredible!
Source: Instagram | @jasonstatham
16. Michael J. Fox
It’s shocking to hear we almost lost Marty McFly during the hanging scene from Back to the Future Part III. Fox had rehearsed the perfect way to protect his throat, but something terrible happened. Fortunately, the crew realized he was in danger before things got out of hand.
17. Jaimie Alexander
If you’re going to be cast in a Thor movie, you better be ready for some cuts and bruises. Jaimie Alexander learned this lesson the hard way. While filming Thor: The Dark World, the young, multi-talented actress suffered a plethora of injuries. She told reporters, “I herniated a disk in my thoracic spine, dislocated my left shoulder, tore my right rhomboid, and chipped 11 vertebrae.”
Source: Instagram | @jaimiealexander
18. Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan has been flying, punching, and kicking his way around movie sets for decades now, and we have loved every minute of it. He once hurt his noggin so bad on the set of Armour of God II that he needed brain surgery. But that didn’t stop Jackie. He’s the bravest of them all.
Source: Tumblr | yourreactiongifs
19. Nicole Kidman
Even a calm day on set can sometimes result in a painful injury. Such was the case on Moulin Rouge when Nicole Kidman twice fractured her ribs. Once, while she was performing a dance routine and the other whilst trying to squeeze into a corset.
Source: YouTube | 20th Century Fox
20. George Clooney
Many of Clooney’s fans don’t even know that the famous actor almost died as a result of a head injury suffered on the set of his 2005 film, Syriana. The pain lingered with Clooney for weeks. It wasn’t until meeting with a neurologist that the E.R. alum learned that he was leaking spinal fluid.