"I want perfection. There's times you get close enough, and I am not really happy with that. It's nice when that's all [directors] need is 'good enough,' but I want perfect."
That quote is from Jeremy Fry, the stunt driver/double for Ryan Gosling on last year's pulp-y action flick "Drive." Fry is just one of the many Hollywood stuntmen who put their life on the line every day in order to bring a sense of realness and danger to a movie.
Unfortunately, when it comes to filming a choreographed explosion or chase scene, things don't always go according to plan. Sometimes that works out to their benefit (when Fry spoke with Moviefone last year, he described a scene in "Drive" where a car was supposed to flip over, but didn't. Luckily, the mess-up looked cool on camera, so director Nicolas Winding Refn decided to leave in). Other times, botched stunts can lead to serious consequences, like broken bones and burns.
In a recent article from Entertainment Weekly, several of today's biggest stuntmen spoke about the injuries they've experienced on set.
Tom Struthers, whose credits include "Inception," "X-Men: First Class" and the upcoming "The Dark Knight Rises," recalled a brutal elbow fracture he received while filming "The Mummy," during a stunt that had him being shot off a horse by an actress.
“She theoretically shoots me and I get blown off the back of the horse... I was supposed to hit a wall. I hit the wall wrong. I didn’t hit the area that was padded. I smashed my elbow. I fractured it pretty badly. My arm’s not quite straight now,” said Struthers.
However, that accident pales in comparison to the one Dan Bradley ("Spider-Man 2," "Independence Day") experienced on the set of a small film called "Boris and Natasha," where a car explosion went awry, causing Bradley to spend a month in a burn ward:
"I lost more skin than you’re supposed to. I wound up doing the whole skin grafts and all that fun stuff. I was driving a car, and it [was rigged to explode] into many different pieces. There were some problems with the effects rig, and when I hit the button, it was a tremendous explosion; it felt like someone just kicked you in the chest. And then within seconds, the fire was just on me. It was supposed to stay beyond this barrier that had been constructed, but the barrier failed almost instantly. I drove for like 10 seconds and hit my mark and turned the corner. And it took about 8 seconds to get out because of the debris that kept me from easily getting out. I wasn’t pinned for that long, but I was in there long enough for it to burn through a four-layer Kevlar full-immersion fire suit. I grabbed the thing that was pinning my legs, and as I pulled on it I could feel my hands burning. Then I suddenly felt on my wrists and forearms this searing pain, and then it didn’t hurt at all anymore. I was like, ‘Okay, that’s third degree.’ I knew instantly that I had suffered a really serious burn. Then I basically dove for the door and my feet popped loose, and I was able to scramble away."
Unfortunately, burns and broken bones are something that comes with the stuntman territory. “If you work 48 weeks a year like I was doing, the odds slowly get closer and closer that you could injure yourself," explained Struthers. "It’s a risk what you do. But I’m there because I like to perform."
Of course, stuntmen aren't the only ones to injure themselves on screen. The handful of actors who do perform their own stunts (see gallery below) will sometimes get into trouble, as Daniel Craig found out numerous times on the set of the 2008 James Bond flick, "Quantum of Solace." After cutting his face after an on-set collision -- one that required him to get eight stitches -- he accidentally cut off the tip of one of his fingers, and then experienced a "slap tear" in his shoulder, which required six pins to fix.
You can read the entire article about stuntmen over on EW.
Angelina Jolie has never been afraid to get her hands dirty during filming. In her 2010 film "Salt," Jolie <a href="http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/22/angelina-jolie-does-her-own-stunts-in-salt/" target="_hplink">did not use a stunt double</a>, instead opting to do all the stunts on her own.
The now 69-year-old actor reportedly performed his own stunts <a href="http://anythinghollywood.com/2008/05/harrison-ford-did-most-of-his-own-stunt-in-indiana-jones/" target="_hplink">during filming of the "Indiana Jones" serie</a>s.
Jackie Chan is probably the most well known for doing his own stunts. The <a href="http://www.cracked.com/funny-595-jackie-chan/" target="_hplink">martial arts master made a career for himself</a> by performing all of his own stunts, especially in his early films. Chan later developed a stunt team that often trains other actors to do their own stunt work.
Josh Hutcherson did <a href="http://movies.yahoo.com/news/interview-josh-hutcherson-doing-own-stunts-hunger-games-182800026.html" target="_hplink">100 percent of his stunt</a>s during filming of "The Hunger Games."
Ever since his first low-budget film, Statham has pulled his own stunts. However, <a href="http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Jason-Statham-talks-about-doing-his-own-stunts-and-The-Expendables-sequel/7914675" target="_hplink">Statham said this rep has dug him quite a hole</a>, since his fans now expect him to push the limit in performing stunt work in all of his films.
Kristen Stewart <a href="http://www.hollywoodlife.com/2012/04/11/kristen-stewart-swath-snow-white-and-the-huntsman/" target="_hplink">recently revealed</a> that she performed most of her own stunts in her upcoming film, "Snow White and the Huntsman." Though the stunts were more minimal in the "Twilight" series, Stewart, along with the rest of the crew, <a href="http://www.nextmovie.com/blog/ashley-greene-breaking-dawn-stunts/" target="_hplink">reportedly pulled their own tricks during the battle scenes</a>.
Like others before him, the newest James Bond prefers to do <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/3073879/Daniel-Craigs-Casino-Royale-leap-is-James-Bonds-best-stunt.html" target="_hplink">as many of his own stunts as possible for authenticity</a>.
Tom Cruise has always insisted on doing his own stunts in his action movies, and there's still no stopping the 49-year-old. Cruise <a href="http://www.eonline.com/redcarpet/2012/premieres/news/tom-cruise-talks-doing-his-own-stunts-does-katie-approve/282011" target="_hplink">most recently performed some dangerous thrills</a> in the fourth installment of the "Mission: Impossible" series.
Cameron Diaz followed co-star Tom Cruise's lead in "Knight and Day," and did most of her own stunts for the film, including stunt driving. When Diaz attended the Golden Globes during film, she said <a href="http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report_cameron-diaz-loves-to-do-her-own-stunts_1420476" target="_hplink">she was covered in cuts and bruises</a>.
At 64-years-old Arnold Schwarzenegger is still doing his own stunts. On the set of his most recent film "Last Stand," Schwarzenegger refused to let a stuntman step in to do the more dangerous stunts because <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2011/11/27/arnold-schwarzenegger-stuntman-last-stand-movie/#.T4b_CZrLxXc" target="_hplink">he thought it was more believable</a> for him to do the action sequences.
Gina Carano was not an actress by trade when she was chosen for her breakout role as Mallory Kane in the 2011 film "Haywire." In fact, Carano, was chosen for the role because of her <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/01/20/review-haywire-could-turn-mma-star-gina-carano-into-movie-star/" target="_hplink">experience as a mixed martial arts fighter</a>.
As Batman, Christian Bale <a href="http://jezebel.com/5024879/christian-bale-trades-batman-for-brooklyn-tough-guy" target="_hplink">performed most of his own stunts</a>. Unfortunately, Bale was not allowed to follow suit in "The Fighter," and was instructed by an insurance company to let a stunt double step in.
As 11-year-old superhero Hit Girl in the 2010 film "Kickass," <a href="http://buzzlog.yahoo.com/buzzlog/93585" target="_hplink">Chloe Moretz did almost all of her own stunts</a> -- aside from the wall-climbing scene. To prepare for the role, Moretz trained with Jackie Chan's stunt team.
Viggo Mortensen is not afraid of doing his own stunts, even if it may earn him some injuries. As Aragorn in "The Lord of The Rings" series, Mortensen <a href="http://dailyfreepress.com/2012/02/29/the-return-of-the-king-viggo-mortensen-comes-to-coolidge-corner/" target="_hplink">proved that he is an excellent swordsman</a> and in "Hidalgo,L Mortensen showed off his equestrian skills.
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