Whenever we watch a movie, especially, if it’s a horror flick, we try to tell ourselves there’s no need to freak out, those are just actors wearing costumes, right? Of course, it’s all acting, none if it is real… until it is. For us, the audience, it’ll only take a couple of hours at most to watch and enjoy the movie, but because of the weeks of filming, the actors tend to get hurt on the set, both physically and mentally. Believe it or not, aside from getting smacked really hard, break legs, arms, etc., there were times when actors have also developed mental illnesses. And to think that I used to dream of becoming an actor when I was a wee lad. No, thanks!
Let’s check out the 9 most dangerous movie roles in cinema history.
Tom Hanks – Cast Away
If you’ve seen Cast Away, you can probably tell how harsh the filming conditions were for Tom Hanks. First the role required him to gain and lose a lot of weight in a very short period of time, which by itself is a huge hit to the body. But that’s just the beginning! One time Tom almost died from a staph infection while filming. Let’s take a moment to appreciate what this man has done for our entertainment.
Shelly Duvall – The Shining
Recently, Shelly has stated that her role in the Shining made her mentally ill. She has stated that Kubrick was incredibly demanding, and they had to do the baseball scene 127 times! That’s bonkers. She started losing hair from all the stress even and had mental breakdowns on set.
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Many of you probably know this bittersweet story about Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. That last role that drove him to death. Heath spent weeks isolated from people, perfecting the laugh and mannerisms for Mr. J. Playing this role allegedly sent Ledger into a deep depression, leading to an accidental overdose on prescription medications that caused his death. Still the best Joker ever.
Brandon Lee – The Crow
Accidents happen all the time on film sets, and the 1994’s iconic movie The Crow, is a great example how things can go downhill really fast. During one of the scenes a faulty prop gun, that should have been filled with blanks, actually shot Lee in the stomach. After hours of intense surgery, Brandon Lee had passed away. No charges were pushed, nobody was arrested, it was just a freakish accident according to the police. The moral here is: always check your gun, even if it’s supposed to shoot blanks.
Isla Fisher – Now You See Me
A real Australian stunner, Isla Fisher, who played one of the Four Horsemen in Now You See Me, almost kicked the bucked during one of the scenes. She was trying to get out of a water tank, while chained. You can see where this is going, right? That scene eventually showed her screaming and struggling, which was part of the plan, but one of the takes looked too real. Something went wrong in the tank prop, and Isla started panicking, as she couldn’t get out, which looked like she was playing along the script. In the last few seconds, she was able to free herself and thankfully didn’t drown, but with a close call like this one, I don’t think we’ll ever see her swimming in a sealed water tank again.
Jake Lloyd – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
“What’s Anakin Skywalker doing on this list?”, you’re probably asking yourself. Believe it or not, Jake Lloyd not only were bullied by other kids who made lightsaber noises every time they saw him. Eventually Lloyd’s psyche cracked to a point where he became scared of going in front of a camera. To add insult to injury, he’s since been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Poor guy.
Jared Leto – Suicide Squad
Is playing the Joker some sort of a curse? There must be something going on out there in the ethereal plane. Almost every actor to play the Clown Prince of Crime has gone nuts, even if just temporarily. In his preparation for the role, Leto went so far as to send a rat to Margot Robbie, real bullets to Will Smith, and used condoms to everyone else. No word on who used them, though. It’s just a prank right? … Right?
Diane Kruger – Inglourious Basterds
There’s a scene in Inglourious Basterds, where Diane Kruger’s character gets choked. Quentin Tarantino did not believe in Diane’s acting skills, so what you saw in the film is actually Kruger losing consciousness for real. At least Kruger consented to this ahead of time, knowing it won’t be very comfortable, to say the least. She was this close to dying! Man, being an actor sucks.
Jason Statham – The Expendables 3
And for the big finale, let’s talk stunts. Namely, failed stunts. Stunt actors are usually either incredibly smart or a little bit crazy (sometimes both)! There are great actors who prefer to do their own stunts, like Jackie Chan, who definitely deserves to be on this list, after all the bones he’s broken throughout his career. Consider him to be an honorable mention at this point. So, anyway, in The Expendables 3, Jason Statham was also doing his own stunts, which almost cost him his life, when brakes in a huge truck failed, and it drove off a cliff! The 60 feet drop into the Black Sea didn’t kill him, however. Fortunately, he was able to exit the cabin, and swim to safety.
So now, every time you’ll see an explosion, a car crash, a “failed” magic trick on the screen, you’ll hopefully appreciate the actors literally risking their lives for your entertainment. I know I will.