We have often talked about talented actors improvising a scene that was never included in the original script. But this article focuses on the writers who had to include a real injury in their scenes. Producing a movie comes with great expenses. One cannot afford to replace an actor or call off the shooting at the last moment. So, when an actor accidentally hurts him or herself severely, the directors are left with no option but to acknowledge it on the screen. Clearly, these stars can’t call in sick or use injuries as an excuse to take an off, as the adamant writers will find a way to keep them on the set. Find out the 10 times when real injuries had to be included in the script.
One of George Clooney’s widely appreciated roles was in “Syriana” which also earned him an Academy Award. In one of the scenes where he was tied to a chair and getting beaten up, Clooney lost his balance and brutally fell over. He cracked his head and ended up spending two weeks at the hospital. The head injury almost killed him and took years to fully get recovered.
In “The One Where No One’s Ready”, Joey and Chandler had to jump over a coffee table to reach for the big and comfortable chair. Unfortunately, Matt tripped over and dislocated his shoulder. He was landing over his head and took out his arm to prevent the fall. That explains why Joey later dislocated his shoulder in the show for jumping on the bed.
Indiana Jones had a scar near his lower lip because of Harrison Ford’s callousness. The character wounded his chin while trying out his whip for the first time. But he got the scar years before the film when Ford was driving and trying to wear his seatbelt simultaneously. His attention inevitably got divided and the car rammed into a pole.
Young Sylvester Stallone was adamant about performing the stunts in “Rambo” by himself. The part where Rambo jumped off the cliff onto the trees was done by Stallone. But his scream in the scene was 100% real as the actor had broken some of his ribs after landing on the trees.
Detective Mills’ cast in “SE7EN” wasn’t supposed to be in the storyline. He got a cast after Brad Pitt rammed into a car while shooting a chase scene for the movie. The actor ended up breaking the windshield and sliced off the tendon in his arm. Even though Pitt had to roam around in the cast through the film, it kind of added authenticity to the detective’s adventures.
Claudia is popularly known for playing Susan Ivanova in the 1994 sci-fi “Babylon 5”. In one of the episodes, her character was gravely beaten up and had her foot broken. This part was never written in the original script but was envisioned on the spot when the actress broke her foot for real.
Tim is widely remembered as the principal in “Mean Girls”. He had broken his wrist a week before the shooting began and needed a cast for several weeks. Tina Fey, screenwriter and cast, gave his character carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a condition in which pressure on median nerves leads to a weak and numb hand. Instead of recasting the character, they gave an explanation for the bandages.
James Franco wearing a headband in “Pineapple Express” wasn’t a fashion statement or a costume choice, but a way to cover his injury. The actor had hit his head on the set while shooting a scene where he and Seth Rogan were running in the woods. It was a dark forest and Franco accidentally bumped his head into a screw fixed on a tree. He had to undergo several stitches and wear a headband to hide them.
“Here’s Lucy” was the third sitcom following the massive success of “I Love Lucy”. The script of the entire fifth season was centred on Lucy sitting in a hospital bed and falling in love with a doctor. They had to rely on this plot because actress Lucille Ball had fractured her leg while skiing.
Mark Hamill was still an unknown actor when he got into an accident after filming “A New Hope”. No one knew who he was or how he looked until the movie hit the theatres. In that gap, Mark had ruptured his nose and cheeks and had to take out cartilage from his ears to rebuild his nose. In order to make the audience comfortable with Hamill’s newly structured face in “The Empire Strikes Back”, the opening scene had Skywalker being attacked on the face by a Wampa. All the scratches on Hamill’s face were to make the changes smooth on the eyes.