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10 Actors Who Almost Died on Set While Filming

Actors who almost died

Many people believe that acting is a fun and easy job. We see movie stars posting pictures of their glamorous lives with fancy cars, awards, and millions of fans around the world cheering for them. But, sometimes we forget that the extravagant life they are living took years of dedication, hard work, and some painful lessons to earn. There were many instances where your favorite movie stars had to deal with dangerous situations, even near-death experiences, to make all the Hollywood drama that you adore. To show you the real picture behind the scenes, we made a list of 10 actors who almost died during filming on their movie set.

1. Jennifer Lawrence 

Jennifer Lawrence was almost choked to death by smoke coming out from a malfunctioning fog machine on the set of Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

Jennifer Lawrence
Image credits: Lionsgate Films

The 2013 Academy Award winner almost died while shooting Hunger Games: Mockingjay in Atlanta. 

According to the sources, the movie franchise was in the process of filming a scene where Lawrence runs through a tunnel along with a group of people.

Unfortunately, one of the fog machines broke down and sprayed out the excessive fog onto the set. Before the rescue team could get it under control, the actress and other crew members started choking and were struggling to get out of the smoke-filled tunnel. 

In the end, Jenifer was carried out from the thick smoke by a rescue crew member after several scary minutes. (1, 2)

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2. Halle Berry 

Halle Berry almost lost her life because of a fig fruit, which got stuck in her throat while she was filming a romantic scene with Pierce Brosnan on the set of Die Another Day. Pierce saved her life by performing a Heimlich maneuver. 

Halle Berry 
Image credits: MGM Distribution Co.

Many of us love the action sequences in James Bond movies, which all seem quite risky and can put the actor’s life in danger. But, in Die Another Day, Halle’s life almost ended while she was doing a romantic scene with none other than James Bond.

While shooting an intimate scene with Pierce Brosnan who was playing the role of Bond, Berry’s character put a piece of fig in her mouth, and the scene continued with Halle sharing the fruit with Bronson while they were kissing.

That didn’t go well for the actress. During that moment, Halle started choking as the fig got stuck in her throat. Fortunately, James Bond saved the day. Bronson quickly realized that something was not right with his co-star and performed the Heimlich maneuver on her, which ultimately saved her life. 

“I am supposed to be trying to be all sexy with a fig – and then I end up choking on it,” Halle Berry mentioned to Jimmy Fallon in an interview.

Brosnan is definitely a hero on the screen and in real life. (source)

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3. Isla Fisher 

Isla Fisher almost drowned herself while shooting an escape stunt with her hands tied with chains, on the movie set of Now You See Me. 

The 2013 crime thriller, Now You See Me, is filled with entertaining sequences which can keep you on the edge of your seat. But one ambitious escape stunt performance by Isla Fisher went terribly wrong. 

In the movie, Fisher’s character, who is submerged inside a water tank tied with shackles, has to escape from the tank before she gets exposed to the killer fishes in front of a jubilant crowd.

After a short while, Isla started banging on the glass tank, to make a fake impression that she is drowning. But, in reality, she was in distress during filming, because of her entangled chains.

People on the set were so amazed by her flawless acting skills that nobody noticed the actress was drowning for real. According to reports, Isla was failing to get to the safety button, which could have drained the thousands of gallons of water in seconds.

Luckily, Fisher got help and managed to escape from the tank safely. (source)

4. Diane Kruger 

Diane Kruger nearly choked to death on the set of Inglorious Basterds, when Quentin Tarantino strangled Diane with her permission to bring out the real expressions on her face. 

Diane Kruger 
Image credits: Universal Pictures

There are many disturbing scenes in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, with amazing direction and acting. But, one of the most distressing scenes was filmed by putting Diane Kruger’s life in danger.

In a 2013 interview with Graham Norton, Tarantino revealed a shocking story from the set of Inglourious Basterds. There is a scene in the movie where Diane’s character is choked to death by  Hans Landa, the main antagonist of the movie.

Tarantino decided to do the scene himself by strangling her to bring out the real expressions on Diane’s face. If you watch that sequence closely. you can tell Kruger is not faking her expressions at that moment. Thankfully, Diane succeeded in completing the scene without any major consequences. 

Tarantino said to her, “I’m going to be the hands, and I’m going to just strangle you, all right? I’m going to cut off your air, for just a little bit of time, we’re going to see the reaction in your face, and then we’ll cut, okay?” 

Tarantino surely took method acting to a different level with this incident, which was only possible because of Diane’s bravery. (source)

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5. Jackie Chan 

Jackie Chan nearly died while performing a stunt in the 1986 film, Armour of God. After his failed attempt to grab a tree branch, he fell down on some rocks, cracking his skull and sending a piece of skull bone into his brain.

Jackie Chan
Image credits: Golden Harvest

Jackie Chan probably is the only actor on this list who performs his own stunts in the movies. His daredevil nature caused him many serious injuries on the set, but, none of the previous injuries can be compared to the one he received during the filming of Armour of God, which almost skewered his brain.

According to the reports, while shooting the 1986 movie in Yugoslavia, Chan’s character was supposed to jump from the wall of a castle to a nearby tree branch, a stunt which was supposedly quite easy for him. But, things didn’t turn out like everybody was expecting.

Chan failed to grab the branch and went crashing down onto the rocks below, cracking his skull and sending a piece of it into his brain. He was immediately taken to the hospital where doctors had to put a metal plate in his head. 

The near-fatal accident didn’t stop the action icon, and Chan continued entertaining his fans with his risky stunts. (source)

Also read: 10 Movies That Caused Controversy Before Release

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