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Actors Who Permanently Damaged Their Bodies For A Role


Many actors are willing to transform themselves
for roles, from gaining and losing weight, to wearing prosthetics, and more. But for
some actors, taking on the ultimate film role means going to extremes — sometimes even
permanently hurting their bodies in the process. Here are some actors who’ve earned some serious,
albeit sometimes invisible, scars for their art. Jared Leto in Chapter 27 As we’ve come to know very well at this point,
Jared Leto is a method actor who doesn’t hold back when it comes to transforming his body.
He’s lost major weight for films such as Requiem for a Dream and his Oscar-winning turn in
Dallas Buyers Club. But it was actually gaining weight for the 2007 indie film Chapter 27
that really did a number on the actor. Playing Mark Chapman, the man who shot and killed
John Lennon, Leto admitted he gained so much weight so abruptly that he suffered gout. Leto revealed that the weight gain hurt his
body so much, towards the end he couldn’t even walk. He told The Los Angeles Times,
“I had a definite problem with my feet. Towards the end of the shoot, one of the glaring issues
was the pain I had with my feet. I couldn’t walk for long distances. I had a wheelchair
because it was so painful. My body was in shock from the amount of weight I gained.
It took about a year to get back to a place that felt semi-normal. I don’t know if I’ll
ever be back to the place I was physically.” Hey, at least dying his hair green and putting
in metal teeth to play the Joker in Suicide Squad left no indelible marks — well except
for on his career. “I’m just gonna hurt you really really bad.” Tom Hanks in Philadelphia and Cast Away The affable Tom Hanks isn’t necessarily known
to be one of those actors who loses himself in roles, but he has gone to a few extremes
here and there — and has won two Oscars for his efforts. In both the 1993 drama Philadelphia,
in which he plays a lawyer diagnosed with AIDS, and the 2000 survival pic Cast Away,
Hanks had to lose a lot of weight during the shoot. Thanks to the forced fluctuation, and his
own genetics of course, the actor revealed that he was later diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
He said that he probably won’t be taking on any more roles which require him to drastically
change his size as a result of these experiences. George Clooney in Syriana While George Clooney didn’t have to undergo
much of a physical transformation for his Oscar-winning role in 2005’s Syriana, he still
experienced a real headache during the making of the movie. While filming a torture scene
for the political thriller, the actor cracked his head open during a stunt and severely
injured his spine. He told Rolling Stone at the time that the
pain from the injury was so bad, he considered taking his own life. “I was at a point where
I thought, ‘I can’t exist like this. I can’t actually live.’ I was lying in a hospital
bed with an IV in my arm, unable to move, having these headaches where it feels like
you’re having a stroke, and for a short three-week period, I started to think, ‘I may have to
do something drastic about this.'” Doctors couldn’t quite pinpoint where the
injury was at first — they clearly weren’t as good as his ER alter ego, Doug Ross — but
finally noticed fluid leaking from Clooney’s spine, and realized that the condition was
more serious than anyone had thought. The actor revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that
he was forced to take strong pain medication as part of a long process and eventually turned
to pain management for help dealing with his chronic discomfort. But he’ll never again
be 100 percent. “I’ve gone from where I can’t function… to, ‘I’ve got a bad headache’…
My ears will literally pop and my head goes apes***. But I’m scrappy.” “I’m not kidding because I think I’ve crossed
the line” Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables 3 As a longtime action movie star, Sylvester
Stallone knows a thing or two about cuts, bruises, broken bones — the whole shebang.
In fact, he once joked that he grades the quality of his movies by how badly he got
hurt making them. So, sufficed it to say, he’s certainly experienced more than his fair
share of pain on the set of movies, including a permanent injury on the set of The Expendables
3, in which he reprised his role as mercenary Barney Ross. The action star suffered a nasty
fall on the set that left him in need of spinal surgery. “That hurts” But believe it or not, Stallone’s injuries
weren’t even the scariest from that film set. Co-star Jason Statham almost lost his life
during production: while he was driving a truck on a loading dock, the brakes failed
and the truck plunged 60 feet into the Black Sea. Thankfully, Statham — who once competed
as an Olympic diver — was able to get free and swim to safety. And here you thought those
shoot-’em-up-bang-bang blockbusters were totally just pretend. Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day Linda Hamilton’s badass turn as Sarah Connor
in 1991’s Terminator 2 set a precedent for female action stars to follow. She took the
role very seriously, training her tail off to play the hardcore mother of the leader
of the future world. But for all the fight sequences and stunt work, it’s hard to bounce
back when a shotgun blast goes off near your ear. While shooting the scene in which Sarah
is trying to escape the psych ward and has to reluctantly accept help from the new and
improved Terminator, the actress forgot to put her earplugs back in after a take. When
Schwarzenegger let off a round in the elevator, trying to stop the T-1000, the amplified sound
caused Hamilton permanent hearing loss. Of course, Hamilton wasn’t the first action star
to get hurt from guns shooting blanks. Bruce Willis in Die Hard That’s right: the same type of injury also
befell the man who played John McClaine while he was making his action thriller breakthrough,
Die Hard. According to the actor, after firing off a fateful round, he suffered “two-thirds
partial hearing loss” in his left ear. He added that now has the “tendency to say, ‘Whaaa?'”
His daughter Rumer Willis even said the reason her dad isn’t as talkative while promoting
a movie is because he sometimes struggles to hear the questions. That explains a lot.
Or…does it? “He’s …” “I dreamed I was on a boat” Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon It comes as no surprise that Michelle Yeoh
injured herself during the spectacular Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. With all the incredible
stunt choreography involved, there had to be a misstep. “I think in life you must make a choice. Either
you do it or you don’t.” Indeed, at one point during filming, Yeoh
landed wrong and her knee gave out. Sure enough, the action star completely tore an ACL in
her knee. Yeoh had to have surgery and months of physical therapy. And while she was able
to recover, she admitted, “You never get all the way back to what it was.” Angelina Jolie in Salt Angelina Jolie is another star who never does
any of her action movies half-assed — especially her 2010 spy thriller Salt. Jolie played a
CIA officer accused of being a Russian spy who must prove her innocence while on the
run. To prep for fight scenes, Jolie had to learn a combination of Muay Thai and Krav
Maga, which she did during two-hour sessions three to four times a week. Some of her stunts
included jumping off a highway underpass onto a moving truck. But amazingly, that wasn’t
the scene that literally scarred her for life. Speaking at Comic-Con at the time, she said
it happened during a scene which involved her rolling onto the floor — and left her
with a permanent scar. Her stunt trainer Simon Crane told Us Weekly, “During her final fight
with Liev [Schrieber] … She had to dive through an opening door firing a gun … as
she carried the sequence on, she rushed into a corner piece of a set and bumped her head.”
The injury left a permanent mark, or so they say. Not that anyone can tell. Daniel Craig in Spectre British actor Daniel Craig’s time playing
James Bond has left him with his fair share of injuries, as the stunts became more elaborate
with each film. In Casino Royale, two of his teeth were accidentally knocked out during
his first stunt and had to be capped, and in Quantum of Solace, he suffered several
injuries. There was a blow to his face that required plastic surgery, and he was rushed
to hospital after slicing off the top of his finger. He also tore a muscle in his shoulder,
and suffered badly bruised ribs. But it was Craig’s time on Spectre that did
some permanent damage. While filming a fight scene with the hulking villain Mr. Hinx, he
injured his knee. It required surgery and threatened to halt filming for six months,
but Craig didn’t want to wait and put off the surgery, working through the pain. He
told Empire, “This has been a two-year process since we
began talking about the script. It gets to this point and you say: ‘We can shut down
for six months and you can go have surgery and come back then.’ I was like: “F— that.”
I don’t give a f—. Stick two planks of wood on it and I’ll f—ing crack on.” Crack on he did, and in the end, production
was stopped for only two weeks. Craig has since had a few surgeries to repair his knee,
and has joked he’ll only keep playing 007 as long as his knees hold out. Jackie Chan in…basically all of his movies Kung Fu legend Jackie Chan has never held
back and views any injury he sustains while filming a stunt as just part of the gig. It’s
the one reasons Chan is considered a true hero of the martial arts genre. “I hear the crack” “I look at my feet. Upside down” “Then the cameraman, ‘Are you OK?'” “I’m OK, did you get the shot?” He’s broken fingers, his nose, ankles, his
tailbone, even his hip; he’s dislocated his shoulders more than few times and suffered
multiple concussions and spinal injuries. The injury list is as long as his resume. However, there’s one particularly serious
boo-boo that made a lasting impression on his banged-up body. During the shoot for Armour
of God , he was supposed to do what was a “simple” stunt jump, but he was so hurt by
the maneuver that he had to have brain surgery which included the permanent implantation
of a metal plate. Even so, Chan’s movie momentum, and commitment
to doing his own stunt work, has never wavered. Chan’s the champ! Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon
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100 Comments

  1. Europpa Author

    Matt Damon in Courage Under Fire? Christian Bale in The Machinist? Viggo Mortenson in one of the LotR chapters (he broke a toe kicking a helmet and broke his front tooth)? Surprised none of these made the list :/

    Reply
  2. Ellie Saint Author

    Jackie Chan is a boss, I can say that for every action movie hero, because they all take their fair share of hard knocks and they keep going

    Reply
  3. Christopher Melvin Author

    Virginia Hey should have gotten a mention. She was injured by her theatrical makeup during her role as Zotoh Zhaan in Farscape causing her to be medically forced to leave the role against ger wishes.

    Reply
  4. Samantha Campbell Author

    Suicide Squad was a disappointment, but Jared Leto’s performance was brilliant and I haven’t seen many who disagree with that.

    Reply
  5. Ceann MaGraff Author

    What about Matthew McConnaughey? He lost so much weight for Dallas Buyers Club that he has not been able to gain all of his muscle back. His own children barely recognized him at first

    Reply
  6. Scott Seeger Author

    Jolie had the least believable performance in Salt. Sad it makes this list. She is too skinny and doesn't look like a real person that would be athletic in any sort of way. Most memorable was her running and it looked like the effort of a sprinter while running in place. She's a good actress and also beautiful, just can't pretend to be the character she was asked to be in Salt.

    Reply
  7. valencia carlin Author

    I guess being in showbiz does come with a heafty price after all. Your health and quality of life after you leave Hollywood. I often wondered why actors and actress's look twice as old as their real age and now I know why.

    Reply
  8. bishopob Author

    What the hell were they using during the elevator scene?? On two separate occasions one of which i fired twice, the other fired at least 4 times from a moving vehicle .00 buck from a 12 gauge in 3"magnum at another moving car without earplugs. A .357 inside a building (Empty Courtroom 2 shots) the other a Sig229 in .357 with a .40 bottleneck inside the Men's room of a Chevron. 1 shot. All without hearing protection and years of shooting without HP in hunts. Makes one wonder what rounds they are using to emulate reality, or that would injure her hearing so badly. Sure i have marginal hearing loss but given the fact that i may have fired as many as 1000 rounds without hearing protection i think i'm doing quite well.

    Reply
  9. T. J. Author

    I don't have admiration for these people. They didn't have a clue that doing something that drastic to your body could have repercussions? STUPID!!! They asked for it and they got it!!! GOOD!

    Reply
  10. VichyGlitterGun Author

    Jackie Chan risks his life for every movie and then gives away a lot of his earnings to charity he is the man, the legend!
    (I saw a Korean show he was in I recommend, it has English sub)

    Reply
  11. Drake Barnes Author

    I know that movies are a serious art form and I honestly do love it
    But come on these are real people you can't treat them like action figures waiting to be picked up and start mashing against other things
    They are not plastic they are pretty goddamn fragile

    Reply
  12. Mr. Jordan Author

    The George Clooney Story is heavy shit…feeling pain 24/7 is very very horrible…and pain killers like morphium makes it sometimes even worst

    Reply
  13. JoJo Skye Author

    Johnny Depp destroyed his teeth for a movie. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was supposed to star an unattractive male, so he had his teeth filed down so caps that looked like discolored and rotting teeth could be put on. He also dyed his hair red. His teeth were never the same after that movie, but I still thought he looked hot in the movie in spite of him trying to make himself look ugly. :p

    Reply
  14. Gunjan's Divine Space Author

    So according to your video Jared leto permanently damaged his body? If someone looks that young, healthy and also rock climbs after permanently damaging his body I wont mind damaging mine

    Reply
  15. Mary Watkins Author

    1:07 Jared Leto isn't exaggerating about the gout. My husband had terrible gout and had to use a cane. And he could only walk very short distances. He had to go to a rheumatologist and get on allopurinol. Bad stuff.

    Reply
  16. Nightmare Fuel Author

    Except Jackie Chan, to me everyone on this list is an idiot. It’s just a movie and you’re gonna damage yourself for it? WOW it’s not like it’s saving anyone’s life, it’s just entertainment. No need die over a role

    Reply
  17. Anthony Morelli Author

    IT'S AN INSULT TO EVEN HAVE THESE NAMES CONNECTED TO JACKIE CHAN THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A STAR THAT HAS PUSHED THE LIMITS OF HIS MIND & BODY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE GREAT JACKIE CHAN HAS

    Reply
  18. Cisco4kid1990 Author

    its kinda crazy cuz out of all the actors there are only a few action actors who are just as bad ass on screen as they are in real life and Jason Statham is one of those actors like Jackie Chan he is another one but the difference between the two is Jackie is just a stunt man that's all he ever has really been he got his break by being a stunt man for Bruce Lee and is a Martial Art Expert but with no belts while Statham is a whole different type of animal all together now that man is a real life human super hero like this guy has done everything in the world and that's why he joined in on being an actor cuz it was one of the few things he hasn't done lol but the guy is a real life bad ass more bad ass off screen than he is on

    Reply
  19. Mc007Queen Author

    All this whining you know they make 10 to 20 million dollars movie … the average Joe makes what 25,000 to 55 thousand a year … you want to be in an action movie well we're going to get some aches and pains maybe a few bruises but in the long run you're making 15 to 20 million dollars a movie

    Reply
  20. Bob Neil Author

    Val Kilmer broke his arm stage diving as Jim Morrison while shooting the doors. He was unable to get it casted so he could continue the shoot and ended up with a big lump protruding from his elbow. You see it a little in the movie Heat.

    Reply
  21. jacob drolet Author

    Amazing actors don’t think when doing dangerous stunts will promote marks on there body and minds they need think better on danger roles in movies etc fantastic job looper

    Reply
  22. Fender178 Author

    What about Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet for those who remember that movie. During the horse riding scene where she falls off the horse she really messed up her back and had back problems for the rest of her life.

    Reply

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