There is a long list of people who have gotten hurt– even killed– on movie sets that proves just how real it can be to create such elaborate fiction.
While real-life injuries often come in the way you’d expect – during dangerous action sequences and stuntwork – there are plenty of people who have gotten hurt on movie sets doing tasks as unassuming as disassembling sets. As a matter of fact, of the many death-defying stunts that action star Jackie Chan has done in his career, the one that came the closest to killing him was actually a fairly simple jump from a wall to a tree branch that resulted in a piece of his skull going into his brain.
When an actor suffers an injury during a scene, the typical course of action is for filming to immediately halt so that the actor can receive medical attention. However, there are times when an actor gets hurt during a scene and they decide to just stay in character and keep right on going with the performance, which can lead to interesting results that take a scene in an unplanned direction.
In other cases, an actor’s on-screen injury does lead to immediate medical attention, but the injury itself didn’t disrupt the scene and it is able to be kept in the movie’s final cut.
Here are 20 On-Screen Injuries That Were Actually Real.
20. Ben Affleck – Dazed and Confused
A lot of people like to take Ben Affleck to task for what they perceive as his lack of acting talent, but they clearly have no idea that the man once completely stayed in character despite badly twisting his ankle.
In Dazed and Confused, one of Affleck’s first theatrical movie roles, he plays a bully named O’Bannion. In a pivotal scene, the teenagers he’d been tormenting for much of the movie finally take sweet revenge on him by dumping paint all over him. After he is unsuccessful at catching them before they flee, O’Bannion throws a frustrated tantrum that resulted in Affleck very visibly twisting his ankle. The actor didn’t break character, and instead just limped over to and got in his car.
It isn’t the most severe injury that can happen to a person, but the fact that Affleck didn’t immediately put a stop to the scene is definitely commendable.
19. Steve Carell – The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Many of the women reading this list are rolling their eyes right now at the implication that being waxed constitutes an “injury” that an actor should be praised for enduring. Still, waxing sessions don’t tend to be captured on film for millions of people to see, and they don’t normally involve the removal of quite as much hair as is on Steve Carell’s chest.
Not only was the waxing scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin completely real, but so were all of Carell’s reactions– down to his iconic shout of “Kelly Clarkson!”
Even while having a sweater’s worth of hair yanked off his chest, Carell’s gift for hilarious ad-libbing was in full effect, and he didn’t waste any of the pain he had to endure with anything less than an A-level take.