Stars Injured on Set: Broken Bones, Torn Tendons and Lightning Strikes

Some movie and TV stars have hurt themselves attempting their own stunts … while others have suffered injuries through no fault of their own.

In one of the scariest examples, Teen Wolf alum Dylan O’Brien was seriously injured on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure and needed half a year to recuperate — and even then he wasn’t sure he wanted to return to the production.

“I had lost a lot of function, just in my daily routine,” the actor told Vulture in September 2017. “I wasn’t even at a point where I felt like I could handle social situations, let alone showing up and being responsible for work every day. Long hours on set, delivering a performance and carrying a movie … it just makes your palms sweat.”

He continued: “Nothing inside of you wants to go back to that. It took a lot of deep searching past those gut instincts that I was having just because of the trauma that I experienced to realize that I did want to finish it.”

Other actors can relate: Ruby Rose recently revealed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that she experienced “six to 12 weeks of chronic pain” after stunts on set left her with two herniated discs that put her at risk of paralysis. “It was really terrifying,” she added.

O’Brien and Rose aren’t alone. Scroll down to see which Jesus portrayer got struck by lightning, which action star nearly quit acting during his convalesce, which Emmy winner fell victim to a “corset-related injury,” and which other stars headed to the hospital after freak accidents on set.

Kyle Richards in ‘Halloween Kills’

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star broke her nose on the set of Halloween Kills, which hit theaters in October 2021. “I didn’t know it was broken when it happened. I just knew I hurt myself, but I didn’t tell anybody,” Richards exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the film’s release. “I didn’t want the stunt double to step in and have them be like, ‘Oh Kyle, you know, let the stunt double handle this.’”

It wasn’t until she got back to Los Angeles that the actress realized how badly she hurt her nose. “My makeup artist in L.A. said, ‘You have a bone poking out of here. What’s going on?’ And so I went to the doctor,” she recalled. “It didn’t bleed, so I thought I was fine. It was hurting for a long time.”

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Letitia Wright

The Guyanese-born British actress was briefly hospitalized in August 2021 while working on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Boston. “Letitia Wright sustained minor injuries today while filming a stunt for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement at the time. “She is currently receiving care in a local hospital and is expected to be released soon.” The extent of Wright’s injuries were not disclosed, but the incident reportedly involved a stunt rig.

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Harrison Ford

Ford was back in action as archeologist Indiana Jones on the set of Indiana Jones 5 in June 2021 when he hurt his shoulder. It was his first time playing the action hero since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. “In the course of rehearsing for a fight scene, Harrison Ford sustained an injury involving his shoulder,” Disney said in a statement at the time. “Production will continue while the appropriate course of treatment is evaluated, and the filming schedule will be reconfigured as needed in the coming weeks.” 

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Nick Jonas

The singer was rushed to the hospital following a motorcycle injury on the set of his new show in May 2021. TMZ reported that Jonas returned home the following day.

The Voice coach shared an update on how he was doing shortly after the incident.

“I’ve been better, but I’m doing all right,” he told host Carson Daly during his return to the NBC singing competition. “Cracked rib from a spill on a bike and a few other bumps and bruises. But I just want to go ahead and say that, in case I’m not as physically enthusiastic as I usually am.”

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Robert De Niro

The Oscar winner revealed in May 2021 that the injured his leg on the set of Martin ScoresesKillers of the Flower Moon in Oklahoma. “I tore my quad somehow,” De Niro told IndieWire of the incident. “It’s just a simple stepping over something and I just went down. The pain was excruciating and now I have to get it fixed. But it happens, especially when you get older, you have to be prepared for unexpected things. But it’s manageable.”

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Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Don’t Look Up’

Us Weekly confirmed in February 2021 that Lawrence was injured after glass hit her in the face during a stunt explosion. Although the remnants landed near her eye and production was halted, she was expected to recover.

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Blake Lively in ‘The Rhythm Section’

Lively revealed in January 2020 that she had shattered her hand doing her own stunts on the set of The Rhythm Section, which resulted in the producers halting filming for six months. “There’s one-shot fight sequences, which is how I shattered my hand,” the actress told the hosts of Good Morning America. “My hand basically turned to feta cheese.” The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants actress explained that she was shooting a scene with Jude Law, and holding a fake rubber knife, when her hand hit his elbow. “I broke some things and dislocated some things and severed a ligament,” she revealed. “It was pretty intense.”

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Rachel Brosnahan in ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

In a January 2020 episode of The Late Late Show With James Corden, Brosnahan revealed that her role in the Amazon comedy gave her a “corset-related injury.” She explained: “We talk so fast on the show that to get all the words out you can’t really take very many breaths. And I think I wasn’t breathing a lot and I was a bit constrained, and apparently, some of my ribs are sort of fused together. … I can’t take super deep breaths anymore.”

Amazon

Ruby Rose in ‘Batwoman’

Rose explained the “Pez dispenser scar” on her neck in a September 2019 Instagram post, revealing she had injured herself on the set of the CW show. “A couple of months ago I was told I needed an emergency surgery or I was risking becoming paralyzed,” she wrote. “I had herniated two discs doing stunts, and they were close to severing my spinal [cord]. I was in chronic pain and yet couldn’t feel my arms.”

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Tom Cruise in ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’

Cruise broke his ankle jumping between buildings in a stunt for the 2018 action movie. “I knew instantly my ankle was broken, and I really didn’t want to do it again, so just got up and carried on with the take,” the actor recounted on The Graham Norton Show that year. “I said, ‘It’s broken. That’s a wrap. Take me to hospital,’ and then everyone got on the phone and made their vacation arrangement.”


Jeremy Renner in ‘Tag’

The actor filmed a scene in the 2018 comedy in which his character climbs a stack of 20 to 30 chairs, and he hurt himself when the rigging broke. “I broke along with it and fell on the ground and broke my arms,” he told Entertainment Weekly in June 2018. “I went to the hospital, and they said it was broken, so I got them wrapped up and then I went back to work and did everything I could do to continue on as we did.”

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Justin Theroux in ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’

Theroux suffered a head injury on the set of the 2018 action-comedy. “I had a scooter accident,” he revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in July 2017. “I’m peeling away, and it’s, like, the last shot of the day or the last day I’m working, and I realize as I’m coming up on the next street that there’s no lock-up. There’s still actual cars going back and forth. So I grab both brakes, skidded out and kinda went flying off the bike and landed on my head. [I] broke my head open.”

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Dylan O’Brien in ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’

O’Brien was reportedly struck by a vehicle on the set of the YA action film in March 2016, leaving him with a concussion, facial fracture and brain trauma among his injuries, as Vulture reported in September 2017. “I really was in a dark place there for a while and it wasn’t an easy journey back,” he told the site of his six-month recovery. “There was a time there where I didn’t know if I would ever [act] again … and that thought scared me too.”

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Harrison Ford in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

The Han Solo portrayer got pinned by a hydraulic door on the Millennium Falcon set while filming the sci-fi movie in June 2014. “The door came down and hit me on my left hip because I was turned to my right,” the actor recalled on The Jonathan Ross Show in December 2015. “And then it flung my left leg up and it dislocated my ankle and as it drove me down to the floor, my legs slapped on the ramp up to the Millennium Falcon and broke both bones in my left leg.”

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Channing Tatum in ‘Foxcatcher’

Tatum suffered multiple injuries on the set of the 2014 crime drama, including a head laceration during a scene in which his character smashes his head into a mirror. “I went through the wall on the other side,” the actor told reporters in May 2014, per Variety. “I missed the stud by about four inches. I was lucky. But the cut on my head was real.”

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Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

“I went deaf in one ear for months,” the actress told Vanity Fair in November 2013, recalling filming that year’s dystopian YA sequel. “But that wasn’t actually physically challenging. It was just ear challenging because I got all of these ear infections from the diving and the water and all of that stuff. And then a jet from one of the cornucopia scenes punctured my eardrum.”

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Kristin Chenoweth in ‘The Good Wife’

Chenoweth was injured on the set of the CBS legal drama in July 2012. “Basically, a big lighting thing fell and hit me,” she revealed on Live With Kelly & Michael that September. “Knocked my face and slammed me into the ground. The back of my head got hit on the curb. … I had a skull fracture, rib issue and neck issue and a hip issue.”

CBS

Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Django Unchained’

The actor’s real blood made it into the final cut of the 2012 Western after he slammed his hand on a table during a scene and accidentally hit a crystal cordial glass. “Blood was dripping down his hand,” producer Stacey Sher told Variety that December. “He never broke character. He kept going. He was in such a zone. It was very intense. He required stitches.”

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Angelina Jole in ‘Salt’

Jolie told a Comic-Con audience in July 2010 that a “ridiculously” easy stunt for her action film that year left her with a “little scar” above her nose — and that she initially thought her injury was worse. “I couldn’t hear everybody well, and I thought, ‘Oh, God, I’ve done it. I have a concussion,’” she recalled, per The Telegraph. “But it turns out, I just still had my earplugs in, so I was fine.”

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George Clooney in ‘Syriana’

The actor suffered a spinal injury performing a stunt for the 2005 geopolitical thriller. “I was at a point where I thought, ‘I can’t exist like this. I can’t actually live,’” he told Rolling Stone in November 2011. “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.’”

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Brad Pitt in ‘Troy’

Ironically, Pitt injured his Achilles tendon while portraying Achilles in the 2004 historical epic, postponing production on the film. “You can’t imagine what that cost,” director Wolfgang Petersen told Vanity Fair in May 2019.

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Jim Caviezel in ‘The Passion of the Christ’

Caviezel was struck by lightning while filming the 2004 biblical drama. “I’m about a hundred feet away from them when I glance over and see smoke coming out of Caviezel’s ears,” producer Steve McEveety told Variety in October 2003.

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Viggo Mortensen in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’

In the 2002 fantasy epic, Mortensen’s character kicks a helmet and appears to yell in frustration, but in real life, the actor had broken two of his toes on the helmet and was yelling in pain. “Viggo, feeling that pain, he actually turned that into performance,” director Peter Jackson said in a behind-the-scenes featurette. “Of course, it’s the best take, so it’s actually in the movie.”

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Tom Hanks in ‘Cast Away’

Hanks cut his leg while filming the 2000 survival drama and developed an infection that started “eating its way” through his leg, as he told Radio 1 in May 2009, per Digital Spy. “I went to the doctor who took one look and said, ‘I have to put you in the hospital because we have to get this infection out of you before it poisons your blood and you die,’” he added. “We had to shut down for three weeks while my skin reformed.”

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