7 Times Actors Were Injured on Stage by Their Co-Stars

An actor has the job to portray their characters on stage as realistically as possible so that the viewer actually believes the action is happening. Sometimes, the acting part is taken a bit too far and the pretending turns into something real. Obviously, with the stunts that they pull, it just cannot be avoided, leading to injury.

Sometimes, the injuries are self-inflicted – but other times, they are caused by their very co-stars. Here are some of the times when actors were injured on set, mainly because their co-stars got too excited by their roles.

Macaulay Culkin’s Finger Incident

If you watched Home Alone, you are probably familiar with the two robbers, Harry and Marv trying to break into little Kevin’s home. There was a scene where Harry (Joe Pesci) tried to intimidate Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) by threatening to bite off his fingers. The scene was accidentally taken a bit too far, and Pesci actually bit Culkin’s finger during a scene take. Culkin says that his right index finger still sports the scar from that bite.

Jackie Chan’s Clash with Bruce Lee

Jackie Chan is famous for doing his own stunts, but also for doing other people’s martial arts stunts. When Bruce Lee was filming for Enter the Dragon, Jackie Chan was acting as a stuntman. During a combat scene with Bruce Lee, where sticks were used as weapons, Jackie was supposed to be attacked by Bruce, be struck, and fall. However, instead of being pretend-struck, he was actually stuck – which resulted in an injury.

The Rocky Punch

In Rocky IV, Rocky (portrayed by Sylvester Stallone) entered a fight with the Russian boxer Ivan Drago (portrayed by Dolph Lundgren), so that he may get revenge for killing his friend, Apollo. However, during one scene, Lundgren took a bit too hard of a swing and smacked Stallone in the chest. The filming was cut short, as Stallone’s blood pressure went through the roof that night, and Stallone had to be taken to the emergency room for medical attention.

Channing Tatum’s Ear Crisis

Channing Tatum is known for his complete implication in a role, and when he gets on stage, he allows himself to be drawn into the intensity of the moment. The problem was that while filming Foxcatcher and portraying the wrestler Mark Schultz, this was taken a bit too far. When he asked his co-star Mark Ruffalo (portraying Mark’s brother and instructor) to punch him in the face, he greed and smacked Tatum’s head, which resulted in a burst eardrum. For a moment, Tatum lost his ability to hear.

Daniel Craig’s Wrestling Moments

During the filming for Spectre, Daniel Craig co-starred with wrestler-turned-actor, Dave Batista. During a fight scene that was supposed to take place on a moving train, Batista tossed Daniel across the rail car. The motion itself was planned – but the way in which Daniel landed was not. Craig ended up tearing a knee meniscus and needed arthroscopic surgery. During his time as James Bond, almost every Seattle personal injury lawyer believed that he should have filed a lawsuit. That’s because his injury prevented him from filming several shots he had of the area, but Craig did not actually blame Batista.

The Punch of the Walking Dead

Those who watched The Walked Dead are probably already familiar with the degree of fighting there. Whether it’s because of zombies attacking or humans being at odds with one another, punches are always randomly thrown. During a very caffeinated moment of Andrew Lincoln (playing Rick Grimes), accidentally punched his co-star Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) in the face using a double fist. Reedus never pressed charges, as he knew that Lincoln did not actually mean to injure him. The apocalypse is, after all, a rough place.

The Real Blood of Marilyn Burns

Usually, when actors get injured on set, it’s an accident. This time, it wasn’t. During a scene in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) was supposed to cut Sally’s (Marilyn Burns) finger in order to draw blood. The knife had tape over the blunt edge so it wouldn’t actually cut, and the blood was supposed to come from a fake blood tube from Burns’ hand. However, as the tube kept clogging, Hansen got frustrated, removed the tape from the knife, and actually cut her finger just so that they could get the scene over with.

The Bottom Line

Acting can be tough, and sometimes it may lead to unfortunate incidents. Some are laughed off after a few minutes, others may need a trip to the emergency room. Needless to say, the next time you see a scene where the actor seems to be feeling the pain, remember that it might be real.

Lisa has been covering Netflix since 2014, and has spent up to 10 years covering the comings and goings of the Streaming library. Currently resides in the United Kingdom. Outer Banks, Ozark, Black, and On My Block, and Stranger Things are among my favourite Netflix series.