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Movie Maniac Harrison Ford’s broken leg one in long list of actors’ on-set mishaps

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, June 20, 2014, at 5:33 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, June 20, 2014, at 5:34 p.m.

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As much as we’d like to think our favorite movie stars are indestructible, they’re just not. Case in point: Harrison Ford.

The 71-year-old actor underwent surgery last week to mend a broken leg, the result of an accident on the “Star Wars: Episode VII” set. Apparently, the door from the Millenium Falcon, Han Solo’s spaceship from the original movies, fell on him.

Filming in London did not halt, but Ford is expected to be out of commission for about eight weeks. May the healing force be with you.

But that’s certainly not the first time actors have had on-set injuries (making movies is rough business). Here are some others:

•  Halle Berry in “Gothika” – Co-star Robert Downey Jr. accidentally broke Berry’s arm. He apparently grabbed it from the wrong angle, causing it to snap. Berry was reportedly miffed about it for a while. Whaddya expect? He is Iron Man, you know.

•  Bruce Willis in “Die Hard” – He probably didn’t yell yippee-kay-yay when he lost two-thirds of his hearing in his left ear. This after shooting an unexpectedly loud prop gun without wearing ear plugs.

•  Leonardo DiCaprio in “Django Unchained” – Talk about method acting. While filming a scene, DiCaprio slammed his hand onto a table so hard that it broke a glass and cut his hand. Apparently director Quentin Tarantino liked the realistic performance because that’s the take seen in the film. The injury required stitches.

•  Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Premium Rush” – Speaking of stitches, Gordon-Levitt got 31 of them on his arm after smashing through the window of a taxi on set. But in true sacrifice for his art, JGL wanted to make sure the injury was caught on camera for possible inclusion in the film. It was and is.

•  Viggo Mortensen in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” – Remember that scene when Mortensen’s character Aragorn screams in agony because he thought his Hobbit buddies were dead? That could actually have been due to kicking an Orc prop helmet and breaking two toes.

•  Brad Pitt in “Troy” – Pitt played the Greek warrior Achilles, and ironically enough, that’s just what he injured on set – his Achilles tendon, which he hurt while jumping. Director Wolfgang Peterson told the Sydney Morning Herald, “Look at his face when he lands, there’s a second you can see something’s wrong. Great for the scene, terrible for the movie.”

• Malcolm McDowell in “A Clockwork Orange” – Remember that harrowing scene where McDowell’s character’s eyes are propped open, forcing him to watch images meant to brainwash him? Well, it was harrowing indeed, because the scene left the actor with a scratched cornea and temporary blindness.

•  Channing Tatum in “The Eagle” – While filming the swords-and-sandals epic, Tatum had to shoot a scene in freezing water wearing a wet suit. To keep warm, production assistants would pour a mixture of boiling water and cool river water into his suit. Except one time, someone forget to add the cold water. The water poured into his suit was so hot, it severely burned his, uh, manhood. He was taken to the hospital and given morphine to numb the pain. But not the embarrassment.

Reach Rod Pocowatchit at rpocowatchit@wichitaeagle.com.

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