We all dream of working in the movie business, but it's not as glamorous as you think. The actors and actresses we see on movie screens have to wake up early, stay late and do some pretty demanding things to get the perfect shot. And if everything doesn't work out just right, it could cost them their career or their life.
Some of our favorite movies had pretty shocking accidents on set, and a few big names suffered terrible accidents that were kept secret for years..
Take a look at this list and see if there are any you didn't know about:
1. Back to the Future Part III
While filming the scene where Marty McFly is hanged, Michael J. Fox did the first few takes standing on a box. To make the shot more "real," they took the box away. Almost immediately, the star was choked out by the noose.
According to Fox, he was passed out for 30 seconds before the film's director realized something was wrong and saved his life. "Bob Zemeckis, a fan of mine though he was, realized that I wasn’t that good of an actor."
Kate Winslet took a few bumps filming this blockbuster romance, but most injuries came after the shoot ended. Two chefs who had a grudge against James Cameron for firing them spiked the wrap party's lobster chowder with PCP.
Cast and crew members hallucinated and were rushed to the hospital, but Bill Paxton says he only felt "a little weird" and assumed he had food poisoning.
3. Rocky IV
Sylvester Stallone directed the 4th entry in this series, which fans still say is the best. To make the final fight seem realistic, he invited Dolph Lundgren to "go at it" and spar for real.
Within 15 seconds Lundgren punched Stallone so hard his breastbone hit his heart. To add insult to injury, Stallone's insurance company refused to pay out at first, insisting it looked like the star had been in a car crash, not a fight.
4. The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers
There were lots of on-set injuries filming this fantasy series. Viggo Mortensen lost a tooth, while Orlando Bloom was thrown off a horse.
But one accident made it into the movie: Viggo broke his toe kicking this helmet, but his angry cry was perfect for the scene, so it was left in.
Over more than a decade, 70 cast and crew members were injured shooting this film about a family attacked by wild lions and tigers. Over 150 untrained animals were used, and star Melanie Griffith needed facial reconstruction surgery after filming was done.
Click the next page for more behind the scenes injuries, including a fatal accident!
6. Police Story
After decades of doing his own stunts, Jackie Chan has broken nearly every bone in his body. He's fallen off buildings, been attacked by lions, and been trapped between cars. But his most dangerous stunt of all was in Police Story.
Jackie slid down a metal pole wired with real, working lights, burning his hands, dislocating his pelvis and cracking 2 vertebrae. Talk about dedication!
Warning: This is a seriously scary stunt!
7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Jim Carrey brought us a lot of laughs filming this comedy classic, but says his own experience was "hellish." The star spent 2 1/2 hours in the makeup chair every day, feeling "buried alive" in his costume with contact lenses that stabbed his eyes.
The star had to use advice from a real NAVY Seal to keep from having panic attacks while filming.
8. Back to the Future Part II
To film the hoverboard chase scene, Griff's gang was suspended from a crane and swung through the fake glass window.
Unfortunately the setup was wrong, and stuntwoman Cheryl Wheeler Duncan was launched into a pillar and dropped 20 feet onto concrete. She made a full recovery, but doesn't remember much about the 2 weeks after her crash. You can still see her hit the pillar at the very end of this clip.
9. The Abyss
To film the scene where Ed Harris runs out of air underwater, director James Cameron made things way too real. He actually gave Harris a tank without enough air, and the actor almost drowned.
Harris punched Cameron in the face when he found out, and to this day he refuses to discuss The Abyss at all.
10. Gangs of New York
Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Bill the Butcher, is a famous method actor. That means while playing the character from 1862, he refused to wear any modern clothes.
Even after catching pneumonia while filming during the New York winter, Lewis refused to take modern medicine so he could stay in character. His doctor had to warn him he was about to die before he finally gave in.
11. Twilight Zone: The Movie
While filming this movie adaptation of the classic TV show, miscommunication between the pyrotechnics crew and a helicopter resulted in a crash that killed actor Vic Morrow and two child actors.
Later, it turned out the children were working illegally, and the film's safety officer didn't know they were part of the shoot - oops! Director John Landis was almost charged with manslaughter for the tragic incident.
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