10 Times Actors Have Been Seriously Injured on Set

I get easily obsessed. Though I have not posted in a long time, I have not given up on my crazy, media mania, quirks. A recent example of this is that I have watched the same film every day this week. Yes, I am that level of media crazed. While viewing films over and over again, something that often crosses my mind is “they have to sometimes get hurt doing this crazy shit.” On a whim I looked up instances of actors getting hurt during filming. I have compiled a few times the show really did have to go on.

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
the-wizard-of-oz-witch-fire
Fire caused several serious injuries on the set of the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.” The actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, and her stunt double were both seriously burned on set. In a scene where the Wicked Witch of the West was skywriting with her pyrotechnic broom, Margaret Hamilton’s stunt double badly burned her legs, landing her in the hospital for several weeks. Hamilton herself had over a months stay in the hospital after being burned on the hands and face after flames were triggered to soon. Continue reading 10 Times Actors Have Been Seriously Injured on Set

I Feel Less Bad About My Job: Actors With Weird/Crap Jobs Before Becoming Famous

It is easy to be bitter against those who make so much more money than I could ever imagine or fathom. But I have found that when it comes to crappy jobs, the pain is real and universal. Shitty jobs are anything but glamorous, and certain A-listers can attest to this. I have scoured the web looking for some of the more odd stints out there, and these celebrities have certainly paid their dues.


Rod Stewart– Gravedigger

Before Stewart charmed audiences with his British accent, he worked as a gravedigger at Highgate cemetery in London during his teens.


Christopher Walken — Lion Tamer 

Yes, this is real! At the age of fifteen, Walken joined a traveling circus and was part of a lion taming act. Whenever asked about this job, Walken is always modest saying ” Sheba, the lion, was really old and more like a dog.” But apparently Walken has his fair share of scars on his back from this “really old lion” so apparently Sheba wasn’t that old.


Sylvester Stallone- Lion cage Cleaner

Sticking with the lion theme, Stallone cleaned up after them. While waiting for his acting career to take off, the Rambo actor cleaned up lion cages at the Central Park Zoo.


Jon Hamm– Set Dresser For Porn Films

Hamm, who stresses that the porn he designed sets for was strictly soft-core, said it was an easy way to earn a few hundred bucks a day. “Essentially, I had to move furniture around sweaty, naked people. It wasn’t a great job but the money was useful. I had to get by and I wanted to be an actor.”

Whoopi Goldberg — Mortuary Beautician & Phone Sex Operator 

The 56 year old comedian and actress took a job as a mortuary beautician after she became a licensed beautician. Her boss played a welcoming prank on her by pretending to be dead and sitting upright to wave at her. During a segment of “The View” she also mentioned briefly working as a phone sex operator. “When I was younger the money was great, See now, people would know my voice.”

Hugh Jackman — Party Clown

Jackman’s natural comedian tendencies would make him the perfect candidate for a party clown. At about $50 per show, he’s come a long way.”I just love making a fool out of myself. I made my living as a clown at kids’ parties for about three years. I was Coco the Clown and I had no magic tricks and I remember a six year old standing up at a party saying ‘mummy this clown is terrible, he doesn’t know any tricks’- and he was right.”



Brad Pitt — Chicken Suit Mascot & Limo Driver For Strippers

 Today, Pitt may be one of Hollywood’s leading men, but once upon a time, he was nothing more than a chicken on the side of the road. His first employer was El Pollo Loco and he had to dress like a chicken to hand out flyers and attract passers by to eat tacos. During that same year he chauffeured strippers in a limousine. “My job was to drive them to bachelor parties and things. I’d pick them up, take them to the gigg, collect the money and play the bad Prince tapes while catching the girls clothes.”

Johnny Depp — Telemarketer -Pen Salesman 

Don’t be so quick to hang up on those telemarketers, you never know who they might end up becoming. This is certainly the case for Johnny Depp. One of his first jobs was cold calling strangers, trying to sell them pens. He claims this job was useful in his acting career as he would use different accents and personas with each call.

Karma’s A Bitch: Funny as Hell Coincidences Behind the Scenes

Some movies seem to be cursed, while others appear to predict the future with creepy accuracy. But then you have films like some of the ones I am going to list below, which feature grossly unlikely, yet huge, ironic coincidences. What do I mean when I say that? Well here are a few examples.

1. Tropic Thunder — Robert Downey Jr. Receives an Oscar Nomination by Playing an Oscar Winner—

Tropic Thunder is one of those movies that on paper has the potential to be the worst thing ever made (it has Tom Cruise in a fat suit and Robert Downey Jr. in black face, Ben Stiller AND Jack Black), but somehow it all kinda works. Indisputably the best part of the movie is Robert Downey Jr.’s character, Kirk Lazarus, who is an actor that only takes movie roles that will give him an Oscar.

Like how Cage does for anyone who offers him an acting role.

In the film, Lazarus is an insufferable method actor, famous for committing completely to whatever role he’s currently undertaking. For Tropic Thunder (the film within a film), Lazarus undergoes pigment-darkening plastic surgery to play a black character, because as I said before, physical transformations are Oscar gold (particularly for attractive women who either put on ugly make-up or have sex with Billy Bob Thornton). Kirk Lazarus’ Oscar baiting is made so unbelievably self indulgent and ridiculous that he is almost a cartoon character, a pretensions ball of buffoonery (is that a word) who doesn’t realize how absurd he is. Hollywood, characteristically failing to get the joke, nominated Robert Downey Jr. for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 2009 for his performance.
That’s right, Robert Downey Jr. was given an Oscar nomination for playing an actor shamelessly trying to win an Oscar. It is even possible that he could have won, if it hadn’t been the year that Heath Ledger died and won every award for The Dark Knight.

This nomination becomes even more impressive when you consider how infrequently comedies get nominated for Oscars. Since 2000, out of 55 nominees, only one other was for an actor in a comedy (Adaptation). To be fair, none of those movies had posters like this one:

I know some people may find this poster offensive, but I couldn’t find one where he’s not smoking…

It may be that the academy was totally on board and was delivering the smartest meta-joke punchline in history of the world… but I doubt it.

2. Singin’ in the Rain– A Lip Syncing Scandal in the Film and Real Life

Although it was made in the 1950’s, Singin’ in the Rain is actually set in the 1920’s, during the period when silent movies were transitioning into “talkies” (movies with sound). In the movie we find out that Lina Lamont, a famous silent actress, has a speaking and singing voice like a dude whose junk is caught in a mouse trap.
Instead of giving their top actress the boot, the studio hires an unknown actress named Kathy Selden to dub Lina’s voice. Lina refuses to let Kathy get any recognition and keeps her behind the scenes, taking all the singing credit for herself. As you may expect, the studio’s ruse is found out, Lina never makes movies again while Kathy becomes a star and hooks up with the leading man.
Those bastard movie producers sure got what they deserved, you may be thinking. Who could actually take advantage of some poor struggling actress like that? The answer is the real producers of Singin in the Rain.

“Hey, y’know the whole cautionary tale behind the story we’re telling? Let’s ignore the shit out of that.”

Despite the movies message of “Do your own goddamn singing,” Debbie Reynolds, who plays the heroine Kathy Selden, doesn’t actually sing several of her own songs. At least two of them (if not more) were really performed by an actress named Betty Noyes. And just like in the movie, the studio wasn’t eager to fess up to the fact that they’d used an unknown singer to dub songs for the famous actress they’d hired to play an unknown singer who dubs songs for a famous actress. As a result, for a long time, Noyes went uncredited.

Pictured here in what is apparently the most pointless head shot of all time.

Unlike the move character Kathy Selden, Noyes did not skyrocket to fame and fortune, but did lead a career performing half a dozen big budget movies— in which she was almost never credited.

3. Troy— Brad Pitt injures his Achilles Tendon While Playing Achilles

If you didn’t pay attention in biology class and don’t follow sports injuries, the Achilles tendon is the thick tendon at the back of your ankle that connects your heel to your calf (soo, it’s pretty important). It was named after the hero of Greek Mythology, because according to the legend, that spot was the only vulnerable part of Achilles entire body. He eventually dies from taking a wound there (which of course is why we refer to a fatal weakness as someones ‘Achilles Heel’).
Now, some of you who missed that whole story in school are still familiar with it, thanks to the movie Troy, where a well oiled Brad Pitt played the role of Achilles.

Pitts abs received their own producers credit

About three-quarters of the way through the film, Achilles faces off with the noble Hector played by Eric Bana, and kills him while the entire family watches, dragging Hector’s corpse around the walls of the city just in case any of them missed it (Achilles is a bit of a dick). However, while filming the scene, the fight did not go nearly as well for Pitt: while performing a difficult jumping strike against Bana directly into his raised shield, Pitt landed awkwardly and injured his leg.

Pitt’s most awkward scene… not involving his accent.

Or more specifically… he tore his damn Achilles tendon.
The only part of Achilles’ body that was vulnerable, and consequently the only part of the human anatomy that bears his name, was the one area in Brad Pitts entire body to sustain an injury while playing Achilles in a movie. Yes, it turns out that the Greek Gods are real and that they mock us mere mortals.

Jennifer Aniston’s voodoo doll? I think so.

An injury like this isn’t particularly light either. The filming had to be delayed several months because Pitt could only hobble around. When filming did restart, they celebrated Pitt’s return by filming the scene where he gets lanced with an arrow through his “Achilles” heel… soo his death scene pretty much. So damn ironic!

Stop Saying ‘Break A Leg’- Terrible Injuries While Filming

A large number of movies have shocking acrobatics, explosions and detailed fight sequences. Though often times these sequences are shot using professional stunt artists or artificially created using CGI, there are actors who pride themselves in doing their own stunts, but in doing so they risk serious injury which can happen from time to time if even the smallest thing goes wrong.

Russell Crowe- Cinderella Man

     – It is almost poetic that Crowe actually got hurt during the filming of his gritty great depression time piece. Before filming, Crowe went through intense training in the same manner as the old time boxers. Crowe dislocated his shoulder and had to have surgery to fix the damage, pushing back the movie two months.

Sienna Miller- G.I Joe

     -Sienna suffered two separate injuries during the filming on the set of “G.I. Joe.” The first one involved her slipping on a rubber bullet and severely spraining her hand while she was attempting to safely break her fall resulting in it being greatly swollen, painful and limiting during filming. Her second injury involved the girls (her cleavage area) catching on fire while she was wearing her cat suit during an explosion gone awry. For those gents out there reading this, that would be like your spedo catching fire, it is equally as important and traumatizing.

George Clooney- Syriana
     – Clooney suffered from a fractured spine during the making of this movie. Because of the severity of the injury he had to remain completely immobile for over a month. On top of this, Clooney had a persistent migraine while bed ridden and even admits to thoughts of suicide because of the intensity of it.

Leonardo DiCaprio- Django Unchained

     -There is a scene towards the end of the movie where DiCaprio slams his hand hard on the table. This was just meant to be an emphatic gesture, but it went somewhat south when his hand met with broken glass on the table. His hand immediately starts to gush blood as it was a fairly substantial injury. Though this was obviously not supposed to happen, because DiCaprio stayed in character during the process, this injury is left in the movie, giving the already serious scene a little more of a morbid quality.

Brad Pitt- Se7en– Troy
     -This aging heart throb has more than one serious filming injury that he can blame on his movie career. While filming “Se7en” with co-star Morgan Freeman, Pitt broke his arm. Normally an injury like this would halt shooting for at least a month. Since the producers did not want to halt production, they decided to write the broken arm into the script.

     – Troy: The injury that Pitt sustained in Troy is possibly the most ironic movie injury I have ever heard of. While Pitt was shooting the climax fight sequence between Achilles (Pitt) and Hector (Eric Bana), Pitt performed a difficult jumping strike against Bana and landed awkwardly, tearing his Achilles Tendon….! (For those of you unfamiliar with Greek mythology it is said that Achilles was invincible except for his heel which is where he eventually gets shot and bleeds out. The Achilles tendon is named after him.) What I take away from this is yes, the Greek gods are real, and they mock us. For those of you familiar with sports, you know that this is no light injury.

Jennifer Aniston has a voodoo doll like this

Pitt was sidelined for months because he was limited to hobbling around which greatly inhibited his ability to run around trolling the people of Troy. When Pitt did come back they celebrated his return by shooting the scene where Legolas lances an arrow through Achilles’ eponymous heel, the precise location of Pitt’s injury. Irony People!

Nicole Kidman- Moulin Rouge
     – During the filming of this movie Kidman ended up with her knee in a cast and two broken ribs. After this, all of a sudden a lot of her scenes she is sitting down.

Halle Berry- Gothika
     -Berry and Robert Downey Jr’s scene in the mental ward became all too real when he is twisting her arm, trying to get her into a cot. While filming, they heard a popping noise that sent Berry straight to the hospital where they found out she had a broken arm.

Viggo Mortensen- The Lord of the Rings

     – On this project there were a huge number of injuries that plagued all those involved. That can happen when you give a whole group of boys real swords and tell them to pretend fight. In the second film “The Two Towers” during the Orc pyre scene, Viggo’s character kicks a helmet out of frustration, but to everyone’s surprise he also let out a scream and fell to his knees. Jackson, the director, thought this was inspired acting, he found out later that Viggo had broken two of his toes when he kicked the helmet. Later in this same movie, Viggo’s character floats down a river. Though the stunt team tested it first to make sure it was safe, they did not account for the weight of Mortensen’s costume, armor and sword. When he tried it he was quickly weighed down and sucked under the current. He was unconscious and half drowned when the film crew recovered him. He also had is front tooth cut in half during a battle sequence, Legolas broke a rib, Sam had his foot punctured all the way through with a piece of glass… fun for everyone!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt- Premium Rush

     – He flew through the back window of a Taxi on set after crashing his bike. He had to get 13 stitches to fix the large laceration.
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The Clippers protesting their owner before game 4 (2 days before Silvers judgement) 
Adam Silver

-On a more serious note the NBA has taken over the news and social media platforms the past few days, not because of this years phenomenal playoffs, but for a tragic reason. The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, was recorded in a conversation with his girlfriend in which he reveals himself as having hateful racist views. The league was talking about nothing but this case the last few days, today the new NBA commissioner Adam Silver took swift action against Sterling. Silver fined Sterling 2.5 million dollars, suspended him for life (meaning he can’t set foot in a basketball arena or have anything else to do with the NBA) and finally Silver expressed his confidence in obtaining the votes necessary to force Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. After a very rough few days, it is heartening to see such a tough stance taken. Bravo Adam Silver!

Madness and Bad Hair

It has been a very sad few weeks in which I have not been able to go see any movies because I have been so crazy busy. For the last three weeks I have been nannying two babies and let me tell you what, these two hellions are the greatest birth control I have ever experienced.

If this is how you feel about basketball, that works!

       

  For those of you who follow basketball, you know that March Madness has started. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is essentially like college basketball olympics. There are a ton of games as teams across the country compete against one another- it is single elimination, so one loss and the team is out of the tournament. People love March Madness because of its pure unpredictability. In college, basketball is a lot more fluid and good teams lose to less talented ones every year. It is because of this that people love to bet on who is going to win and they create long and detailed brackets to see who can come the closest. This year Warren Buffett offered 1 Billion dollars (yes, Billion) to anyone who could create a perfect bracket. The tournament is not even over yet and there is no one left who could compete for the money.
    So, apart from basketball happening right now I had an ego destroying experience today. I was tossing out some old junk when I ran across some formal dance pictures from high school -homecoming, prom- that kind of thing. It almost hurt to look at them. It was so embarrassing, I looked like such an idiot. So, to make myself feel better I found some others to keep me and my old picture company.

1. Bruno Mars-

Bruno has obviously mastered the severely awkwardly posed prom picture. Not only is the fro looking suave, but his flower necklace perfectly matches his dates dress… such a gentleman. I hope this pose was not their idea, because it looks like his date is trying to restrain him.

2. Sarah Palin

Aren’t we glad that this type of 80’s hair didn’t last long, though to be fair- she still wears hers with extra, extra hairspray today. Boy, does she look happy in this picture- a nice prediction of her future (that is her husband in later life) or maybe she is just horrified by his bowtie.

3. Michelle Obama

I am not sure why the chair prom pose was ever a thing, or why someone thought it was a good idea, because it creates a weird separation between the couple. I especially like the fact that it is a giant wicker chair. But the blazer she is wearing in this picture foreshadows her style consciousness as the President’s wife.

4. Brad Pitt

Here we have another victim of the painfully awkward forced chair pose, Brad looks more like he is about to get married then go to a high school prom in this picture. I also am enjoying the nice 80’s puffy sleeved, off the shoulder dress and conspicuous corsage.

5. Will Ferrell- He hasn’t changed much

6. Ellen Degeneres
There are so many things I could point out about this picture- the dress, the hair, the shoes… oh how we wish we could forget the outfit choices of the 70’s and 80’s.

Giant Destructor: Acid-Trip Colored Building Blocks

When it comes to me and Lego’s there are two things I could do with them when I was a kid. 1. Build a bunch of tiny little houses (because that is all I had the creativity and ability to build). 2. I would set all the little homes I made spaced around the living room… then trample through them, throwing Lego’s and screeching in my best Godzilla/ giant monster- impression.
With that said, when I heard about the Lego movie I scoffed and thought the premise sounded absolutely ridiculous and put it out of my mind as a stupid child movie on par with “Barbie’s Great Adventure.” Eventually I saw a preview for this movie and thought that possibly it might not be a bust after all, there seemed to be a few funny moments and a lot of famous names, but again, I quickly forgot about it. As soon as the movie came out however, I couldn’t get people to shut up about it so I went last week with family to see why everyone is loosing their shit about it.
The Lego Movie–
   
In regards to this movie, I have a little bit of mixed feelings about it. Everyone was just raving about the film so I went into the theater with very high expectations. The Lego Movie is about a very structured society, who go about their business as they are told to do, but there are a small group of Lego resistors who are trying to stop the president from freezing the world as they know it.

This movie is fairly clever and funny with lots of humor at every turn. The humor in this movie is for the adults, they are jokes that, for the most part, kids will not understand- so the humor is for the adults, the animation and silliness is for the kids. My only commentary on the humor is that, at times, it almost felt a little forced- like they were trying a little too hard to make it super funny. The animation in this movie is very impressive, everything is animated Lego’s, so when a character jumps in the ocean, little blue Lego’s come flying up, like the back-splash. As impressed as I was with this, because it is fairly amazing, it made me a little bit headache-y from time to time. Because it is animated, and the Lego’s move so fast, the fast dashing colors gave me an acid-trip headache. Overall, however, this movie is cute, funny and had a decently unexpected surprise ending that gave the film more depth than I expected.

The Academy Awards-
     “The Big Show” also known as the Oscars took place last night in Hollywood California. If you missed them than you missed out on one of the best Oscar shows that has taken place in years. I might be biased because I do love the silliness of Ellen, but that lady can host one hell of a funny show! She had a great mix of scripted, improvisation and down right ridiculous.

During the show she tweeted out a selfie of herself and some of the biggest celebrities in the world resulting in the temporary breakdown of Twitter, she had pizza ordered and delivered to the theater having Brad Pitt pass out plates while she handed out pizza and she dressed up as Galinda the good witch from Wizard of Oz. — A quick recap of the winners. The Great Gatsby won the costume and set design awards. Gravity won all of the other technical, visual and cinematography awards. 12 Years A Slave won for best supporting actress- Lupita Nyong’o and Best Picture. Dallas Buyers Club won for best supporting actor- Jared Leto and best actor- Matthew McConaughey. Cate Blanchett won best actress for Blue Jasmine.

Not For the Faint of Heart

12 Years A Slave:

Woah.
I just returned home from seeing this movie and I am still somewhat in shock from it. This film is possibly one of the more incredibly well done movies that I have seen in recent memory. (While I am writing this I turned on Anchorman in the background to try and lift my spirits a bit. This was one heavy movie!)
I would never say that I enjoyed this movie, because it is not meant to be an enjoyable experience, but it is fantastic (does that make sense?) Though I do find it somewhat ironic that most (not all, don’t get your panties in a bunch and tell me i’m wrong) of the main characters in this movie are British, even the man playing the lead role whose sold into slavery.
This movie is based on the true story of an educated black man from New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south, held captive for 12 years (hence the title). The movie doesn’t pull any punches, starting out with dramatic scenes of his enslavement, then rewinding to show how he was kidnapped and sold.

I do not want to give away too much of the story line so as to not ruin it for those who are going to go see it (which I think every mature adult should) but I will say that anyone who see’s this movie should not eat Taco Bell directly before going in because the “food” probably wouldn’t stay down long. This film does not sugar coat the situation of slaves. And when I say that, I am not being dramatic, or emphatic enough. In most other films that deals with slavery, the brutal side is usually not actually shown. The viewer probably hears the scream and see’s the whip, but never more than that. In this movie, they get up close and personal, showing gruesome, degrading and horrifying realities that this man, and many others, faced. The ick factor isn’t over the top like Django (a somewhat similar movie that comes to mind) this films situational gore feels more real, making it that much more sickening. There was more than one time when watching this movie when I legitimately felt nauseous, a feat not easily done. I did not cry, it was more than that.

I do not mean to scare anyone away from seeing this film, in fact I would encourage people to spend the time, it is well worth it. But it is far too much for children or teens. The material is too heavy for kids of that age. I would recommend this movie without hesitation.