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Death-Defying! 15 Actors Who Risked Their Lives for Films

actors who risked their lives for films
Source: MEGA

Apr. 27 2024, Published 5:00 a.m. ET

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Brad Pitt Damaged His Tendon

brad pitt
Source: MEGA

As we previously reported, the famous former flames have been in a battle royale over Jolie's decision to sell her stake in their French winery to Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler, who controls the Stoli Group, in 2021.

Brad Pitt ironically injured his Achilles tendon while filming Troy, where he played Achilles. The film explored the events in The Iliad about the Trojan War and how Achilles was killed after being shot in the now-known Achilles tendon.

His injury led to the delay of the filming as the creators gave him a break to allow him to heal.

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Bruce Willis Lost Part of His Hearing

bruce willis
Source: MEGA

Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

While filming the 1988 Die Hard, Bruce Willis reportedly got involved in an accident that affected his hearing ability. The loud explosions and gunfire also made things worse.

"Due to an accident on the first Die Hard, I suffer two-thirds partial hearing loss in my left ear and have a tendency to say, 'Whaaa?'" he told The Guardian in 2007.

Christian Bale Lost More Than 60 Pounds

christian bale
Source: MEGA

Christian Bale has been known for changing his appearance for his roles.

For years, Christian Bale has left his fans speechless with his quick, massive transformations in his movie roles. One of his iconic roles was in The Machinist, which required him to lose over 60 pounds to play a slender man suffering from insomnia.

"When you're so skinny that you can hardly walk up a flight of stairs... you're, like, this being of pure thought," Bale told The Guardian in 2018. "It's like you've abandoned your body."

He reportedly consumed water, apple and one cup of coffee a day to achieve the body type needed for the film.

In Bale's separate interview with Men's Journal, he revealed he chain-smoked cigarettes and drank whiskey to quickly lose weight.

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Halle Berry Broke 2 Ribs

halle berry
Source: MEGA

Netflix tapped Halle Berry to lead the film Bruised, leading her to learn kickboxing, Muay Thai and more combat sports for the role.

But while filming a scene with UFC champion Valentina Shevchenko, Berry broke two ribs and made her fans worried about her condition.

"I'm at my best when I have to work hard and when I'm facing challenges," she told Women's Health. "To be the age I am and push my body to its limits reminded me that age is just a number. We can control how we define ourselves, and I've never been healthier and felt stronger. This movie helped me realize that."

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Heath Ledger Purposefully Isolated Himself

heath ledger
Source: MEGA

Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose in January 2008.

To prepare himself for Joker's role in The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger went to extremes and locked himself up in a hotel room for a month. Aside from affecting his physical state, the isolation also affected his mental health and his sleeping pattern.

"I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He's just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown," he told Empire in 2007, months before his death.

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Hugh Jackman Sustained Several Injuries

hugh jackman
Source: MEGA

Hugh Jackman has a long list of Wolverine-related injuries.

After years of playing the titular role of Wolverine, Hugh Jackman grew familiar with tragic injuries he sustained while filming.

One of his earliest — and worst — accidents happened in the first X-Men film. He found himself dropping down the side of the Statue of Liberty and kept himself from falling.

"That was pretty brutal," Jackman said. "I screamed so much, and they kept going because they figured it was me primal-yell emoting."

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Jackie Chan Had a Punctured Brain

jackie chan
Source: MEGA

Jackie Chan performs his stunts as much as possible.

Famed martial artist and stuntman Jackie Chan faced a near-fatal injury while working on the set of the 1987 film Armour of God.

At the time, Chan jumped from a cliffside into a tree. But during his second attempt, he fell and smashed his head on a rock. The accident caused a bone to be pushed up into his brain but fortunately survived the near-death experience.

"Because this is what makes me Jackie Chan," he told WebMD when asked why he has been risking his health and safety to do the stunts. "This is why I'm so different and unique. The audience loves to see me do my own stunts. And I can do my fight sequences in one shot, without having to edit them."

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Jeremy Renner Broke His Arms

jeremy renner
Source: MEGA

Jeremy Renner also had another near-death experience when he was crushed by a snowplow in January 2023.

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In 2018, Jeremy Renner broke his silence and shared how he broke his arms on the set of Tag.

"There was this stunt on the second day of the movie where I was avoiding all of the guys. So I do this stunt," he told The Tonight Show.

"It's a stack of chairs, like 20 feet high, and it's supposed to fall over and I'm supposed to ride it down like a surfboard and then keep running," he said. "So that happened a couple of times and it wasn't quite good enough, so let's do it again, but the hinge broke. Anyway, the stack of chairs was supposed to go and it didn't go and I went."

The stack fell, leading him to break his arms without him knowing about it at first.

After a few moments, Renner realized he probably had sustained an injury, so he went to the hospital, where he was told about his fractured bones.

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Johnny Depp Got a Bruised Stomach

johnny depp
Source: MEGA

Director Gore Verbinski said it was one of the scariest moments ever.

While filming The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp sustained a bad bruise on his stomach after falling off his horse and getting dragged through the desert.

"I would say that the positive thing is my coccyx didn't take it," he told The New York Post.

"We'd been running the horses pretty hot that day and went down a couple of paths, and that all worked out fine. And we changed paths in order to get closer to the camera car, and the horses were still running real hot; they wanted to run," Depp added. "And Scout decided to jump over a couple of obstacles — and yeah, user error, I don't know what happened, but it happened very fast and very slow."

After the incident, the Pirates of the Caribbean star reportedly decided to do fewer stunts in his projects.

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Keanu Reeves Injured His Spine

keanu reeves
Source: MEGA

Keanu Reeves hid his injury to be part of 'The Matrix.'

Keanu Reeves received epidurals while filming Chain Reaction due to bulging and fractured discs. The injuries started making him lose his balance, prompting him to wear a neck brace to complete his fight scenes.

"My spinal column was being sausaged basically, so I had to have a two level fusion on my spine before training, and they put a plate in my neck," Reeves continued, adding, "They put the plate in my neck and told me to start moving right away. I had to train for the 'The Matrix' in a neck brace."

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Michelle Yeoh Tore Her Knee Ligaments

michelle yeoh
Source: MEGA

Michelle Yeoh was a former ballerina.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon put Michelle Yeoh in the spotlight even more, but the film was where she suffered from a leg injury.

"It happens. I've hurt my neck, my back, my ribs. There have been more than a few scratches and bruises along the way," she shared.

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Sylvester Stallone Broke His Neck

sylvester stallone
Source: MEGA

Sylvester Stallone had the injury while working on the 'Expendables' franchise.

Sylvester Stallone dislocated his shoulders and fractured his neck when Steve Austin accidentally tackled him during the making of The Expendables. The injury required him to have at least seven back injuries.

"I never recovered from ['Expendables']," Stallone added. After that film, it was never physically the same. So I warn people, 'Don't do your own stunts,'" he reminded everyone during Season 2 of The Family Stallone.

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Tom Cruise Suffered From a Broken Ankle

tom cruise
Source: MEGA

Cruise and Khayrova split after dating just two months.

In his exclusive interview with ET's Carly Steel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas in 2018, Tom Cruise expressed how angry he was when he broke his ankle while performing his stunts in the Mission: Impossible franchise.

"[My foot was out] just a split second too long, and I fractured the talus, and I knew instantly. I said, 'It's broken,'" he shared.

His injury caused a nine-week delay in the production, though Cruise's doctors said it would take him nine months to recover.

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Tom Hanks Developed a Staph Infection

tom hanks
Source: MEGA

Tom Hanks filmed 'Cast Away' on the Fiji Island.

Tom Hanks played the role of a man stuck on a deserted island after a plane crash in the 2000 film Cast Away. After the project, he constantly shared his near-death experience after developing a staph infection after suffering a leg injury while shooting.

"I went to the doctor who took one look and said, 'I have to put you in the hospital because we have to get this infection out of you before it poisons your blood and you die,'" he told Radio 1.

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Uma Thurman Crashed a Car

uma thurman
Source: MEGA

A video of the crash went viral.

Uma Thurman was reportedly forced to drive a car on the set of Kill Bill, and it led to a terrifying accident.

"I deeply regret that Uma suffered the pain she has, both physically and emotionally, for all of these years from the accident that occurred on the set of Kill Bill," producer Lawrence Bender told The Hollywood Reporter. "The safety of the professionals who work on the movies I produce is vital to me and I never want to let anyone down."

The accident led Thurman to develop a strained relationship with Quentin Tarantino, with the actress saying she felt like a broken tool afterward after they all turned on her.

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