The Most Needlessly Dangerous Celebrity Movie Stunts Ever
May 4th, 2013 11:00am EDT
Sometimes actors have to suck it up and do their own stunts. Unfortunately, a lot of those celebrity movie stunts are totally needless. Here are some of the most dangerous stunts that should never have been included in the movies.
Jackass and Golf Carts
Leave it to the guys at Jackass to do something so stupid that they almost get themselves killed for a ridiculous laugh. MTV kept the Jackass crew on a leash (a long leash, but a leash) when they recorded episodes for the cable TV station. When it came time to make Jackass: The Movie, though, all bets were off.
Despite all of the stupid stunts that they pulled, the most dangerous occurred when Ryan Dunn and Johnny Knoxville took a golf cart at top speed over uneven ground. That seems tame enough, right? It probably seemed that way to them, too, until the gold cart flipped and almost smashed Knoxville's head into pieces.
Dunn was actually lucky. He got tossed from the cart. Knoxville, who remained inside, ended up with a concussion. It's way beyond anything you'd hope to see on BiteSize Extreme Sports.
Brandon Lee's Death in The Crow
Brandon Lee was a talented martial artist nearing the prime of his career. Bruce Lee, his father, had a technical skill that no one else could rival. Brandon was convinced that he could reach the same mastery and fame. Unfortunately, his first major film resulted in a freak accident that led to the 28-year-old's death.
In the stunt, Brandon Lee was supposed to confront a man with a loaded weapon. Given his skills, he could easily dodge the bullet. Unbeknownst to anyone on the crew, though, the blank bullet in the gun had gotten lodged. When the actor pulled the trigger, a real bullet fired, dropping Brandon to the ground.
The directory yelled "cut" without knowing anything had happened. It didn't take long before he and the other crew members realized that Brandon was still on the ground, lifeless.
Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible
Tom Cruise does his own stunts from time to time, but never anything that would put him in serious danger. While filming the first Mission Impossible movie, though, director Brian de Palma felt that the stuntman just didn't fill the role accurately enough. The famous director asked Cruise if he would perform some of his own stunts.
Cruise agreed. One scene caused particular stress. As Cruise watched a torrent of water rush towards him, he jumped out of the way just in time. Had he been a second later, the water would have torn him to shreds. At the very least, it would have drowned the actor.
Keanu Reeves in Speed
You will never, ever make fun of Keanu Reeves again. Everyone knows the fighting he did in The Matrix Triology was bunk. His real stunt work happened during, believe it or not, Speed.
Remember the scene where Keanu's character jumped from car to car to reach the bomb-rigged bus? (It's okay if you don't. That was a long time ago and the movie wasn't really that great.) Originally, director Jan de Bont forbade Keanu from performing the stunt on his own. Keanu, for some reason, was determined, so he practiced the stunt during his off time.
When it came time to shoot, Keanu was ready. It might have been more dangerous for the director than Keanu. De Bont's blood pressure must have gone through the roof watching the multi-million dollar star jump from car to car like a total idiot
Harrison Ford is Just Awesome
Yeah, Harrison Ford did a lot of his own stunts in the early Indiana Jones movies. So what, tough guy? You were young and you didn't have anything to lose.
You might think that until you learn that he did about 90 percent of his own stunts in the most recent Indiana Jones movie. Leave your distaste for weird alien heads aside and just thinking about how awesome that is.
Now, think about how far you'll be able to jump when you're 65. Suddenly, Harrison Ford looks even cooler than before, right? As if he needed it!
Jason Statham is the Car Master
You probably know Jason Statham from movies like The Transporter and the Italian Job. Most of the stunt work in those films happens behind the wheel of a car (other than the parts where Statham is kicking his enemies right in their throats).
What you probably didn't know is that Statham insisted on doing many of those car stunts himself. He's a car freak who loves to push machinery to its limit.
In the movie Crank, Statham rode a motorcycle through a crowded LA in nothing more than a hospital gown. Just imagine how much that fall would have hurt!
Christian Bale Goes Skeletal
You might not consider it an actual stunt, but Christian Bale put his life on the line while preparing for his role in The Machinist. At his skinniest, the six-foot man weighed a meager 121 pounds by subsisting on a diet of coffee and apples. It was a crash diet that had his doctors worried that Bale might experience serious health problems, including heart failure.
If you've seen The Machinist, then you know why Bale's attempts get listed as one of the most dangerous celebrity movie stunts of all time. The crazy thing is that director Brad Anderson never asked Bale to lose that much weight. Bale just thought it was essential to the role, so he took it upon himself.
Never Laugh at Jackie Chan Again
You think Jackie Chan's funny? Sure, he makes his stunts look like a big joke, but there's nothing humorous about the training and dedication that goes into his stunts. Consider this: while filming his movie Police Story, Chan got second degree burns in addition to cuts and plenty of bruises. Oh yeah, he also almost paralyzed himself when he injured his neck.
Laugh with Chan, but never laugh at him. He's a serious guy doing hard work.
What other needlessly dangerous celebrity movie stunts can you think of? Have you ever seen any in person?
Photo Credits: Paramount Pictures; PR Photos