6. Martin Sheen
For Apocalypse Now, the cast and crew spent their time filming in the Philippines fighting off bad weather and malaria. And not only that, but almost everyone involved with the movie contracted dysentery, the flu, pneumonia and/or numerous physical injuries. While filming, Sheen was also drinking a lot and taking a lot of drugs. These factors, plus the physical environment, caused him to have a heart attack on set. He had to crawl half a mile to get medical attention and took a month off shooting.
5. Diane Kruger
Kruger had been a long admirer of director Quentin Tarantino’s work and was excited to work with him on the movie Inglourious Basterds. In the film, there is a scene where her character is strangled. Tarantino decided that fake strangulation doesn’t look real enough, and that Kruger should be strangled for real, and that Tarantino would be the one to do it. There was a stuntman watching to make sure everything was okay, but her air supply was cut off to film the scene.
4. Kate Winslet
While filming Titanic, Kate Winslet had to run away from a lot of water. There is one scene where she and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio had to run through a narrow hallway while water crashed over them, sweeping them into a locked gate. During the take though, Winslet’s coat got stuck and she couldn’t come up for air. Once she’d recovered, director James Cameron let her catch her breath and then they went right into filming the scene again, although Winslet was reportedly traumatised by her almost-drowning.
3. Jim Caviezel
In Mel Gibson’s 2004 Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel plays Jesus Christ. While filming the scene where Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount, Caviezel was hit by a lightning bolt. People on set say that his whole body was illuminated, and fire was coming out of both sides of his head.
Many of the cast and crew were shocked by the incident and couldn’t help but feel that it was significant in some way. Caviezel claims that several people had their beliefs tested while making the film. I mean, seeing a man dressed as Jesus get hit by lightning, flames coming out of his head, is enough to make anyone rethink their beliefs.
2. Jackie Chan
It’s quite well known that Jackie Chan does all his own stunts. For the sake of realistic looking action sequences he’s had to sustain a lot of pain and broken bones.
He’s broken almost every bone in his body, including his ankle, nose, shoulder, chin, fingers, and even his eyebrow bone which almost caused him permanent blindness. He even smashed his tailbone which caused him to be temporarily paralysed.
However, his most serious injury occurred while filming a stunt for Amour of God in Yugoslavia. In what should have been a fairly routine sequence for Chan, things went horribly wrong when he misjudged his jump. In the scene, Chan’s character has to jump from a castle wall to a nearby tree. As he jumped his missed the tree branch and plummeted several metres to the ground below. Upon impact he cracked his skull, shooting a fragment of bone into his brain.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital for immediate brain surgery. A metal plate was inserted into his skull and a sizable dint can still be felt on his head today.
1. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks put his body through a lot of strain during the filming of Cast Away, where he plays a man who has been stranded on an island after a plane crash.
Hanks gained and lost over 20 kilos rapidly so that his body would look as haggard as if he had really been stranded. At one point, he cut his leg on the set. His whole leg started to swell and finally after two weeks, he went to the hospital where he was told he had a deadly staph infection and that he was lucky to come in when he did.
So there’s our list of actors who were nearly killed on the set of movies. Did this listicle raise your eyebrows? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook.