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10 Actors Who Almost Died on Set While Filming

6. Jason Statham 

Jason Statham almost drowned while filming The Expendables 3, when the brakes of his three-ton truck failed, and it plunged into the Black Sea. Thankfully, Jason’s expert-level diving skills helped him to escape.

Jason Statham
Image credits: Millennium Films

The Expendable series was one of the best action movies ever produced in Hollywood. But the franchise came really close to losing Hollywood actor, Jason Statham, who almost drowned in the Black sea while shooting the third part of the series.

During a scene when Jason Statham was driving a truck, the brakes failed and the actor drove off a cliff into the Black Sea. Fortunately, The Expendables actor’s Olympic-level swimming skills helped him to escape the wreckage and swim to shore safely. (1, 2)

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7. Johnny Depp 

Johnny Depp nearly died when he slipped from the horse’s back to the ground on the set of The Lone Ranger, while doing a horse-riding scene in the desert. Fortunately, the horse’s hooves just missed his head.

The Lone Ranger faced a lot of criticism for various things and lost millions of dollars in the market. But one thing the cast and crew are probably thankful about is not losing Johnny Depp on the set.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star almost died during a horse-riding stunt in the desert. Johnny Depp and his costar, Armie Hammer, were filming a scene where they were riding on their speedy horses across the desert.

When the horses picked up speed, Depp started to lose his grip and eventually slipped from his saddle to the ground. Johnny held onto the horse’s mane before letting go and falling in front of the horse.

Luckily, Johnny’s head was spared from being crushed by the horse’s hooves. Depp survived and received only minor injuries from the fall.

Surely, the movie almost took everything away from Depp. (source)

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8. Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen, who played the role of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, came close to death during filming when he rode on horseback in the middle of the Rangipo Desert area in New Zealand, where the land was filled with explosives. 

Viggo Mortensen
Image credits: New Line Cinema

To make all the nerve-wracking moments for the audience, The Lord of the Ring’s cast and crew probably witnessed several risky situations on the set. Most of the shots were filmed with no serious issues. but some were dangerous enough to put someone in the emergency room. 

The scene in the Return of the Kings where Aragon delivers his inspiring speech outside the Black Gate of Mordor was shot in the Rangipo Desert area, where New Zealand’s military used to conduct training exercises.

As a result, the team was at risk of triggering any explosives hidden in the area. In the interest of safety, the director made a safe route and location for the crew, but an improvised Mortensen rode down the middle of the explosive field without any precautions.  

Viggo Mortensen came out of the danger zone safely, but his bold attitude made Peter Jackson quite nervous. (source)

9. Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone nearly died while shooting Rocky IV when his costar, Dolph Lundgren, punched him after Stallone insisted. Sylvester’s heart stopped after the punch, and he had to spend four days in emergency care. 

Sylvester Stallone
Image credits: MGM/UA Entertainment Company

Being a Hollywood action hero can be a daunting job, and nobody knows it better than Hollywood’s muscle man, Sylvester Stallone. 

His blockbuster action-thriller movies have put him in life-threatening situations on numerous occasions, but the most dangerous moment came in Stallone’s career while shooting for Rocky IV. 

Rambo’s poster boy insisted his co-star, Dolph Lundgren who played the role of his boxing rival- Ivan Drago, give him a hard punch. The Swedish-born actor didn’t think much about the consequences and punched Stallone so hard that Stallone spent four days in the intensive care unit as his heart stopped. 

The duo ultimately resolved their differences and collaborated for all three Expendables movies. (1, 2

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10. Gerard Butler 

Gerard Butler was almost killed during the filming of the surfing drama movie Chasing Mavericks in 2011 when massive waves swept him under the water for almost a minute.

Gerald Butler
Image credits: 20th Century Fox

Gerard Butler’s surfing experience while shooting the surfing drama Chasing Mavericks in 2011 became a nightmare experience for him, as he had his closest encounter with death. 

Footage shared by Good Morning America showed how the Scottish actor was struggling to keep up with gigantic waves on his surfing board. While shooting for the movie, Butler was held beneath the water for a minute because of a massive wave that broke over his head.

Unfortunately, the 300 star was stuck in a so-called “two-wave” hold-down, a dangerous situation where gigantic waves knock down an individual so deep that they can’t surface before the other one hits.

‘It was like a Tsunami coming in, and I was down, and I just didn’t come back up, really,” Gerard Butler said to reporters. 

Luckily, he didn’t receive any major injury and was able to finish the movie. (source) 

Also read: 12 Actors You Know by Face but Not by Name

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