Jackie Chan has been making action films since the 1970s and currently holds the Guiness World Record for “Most stunts by a living actor“. He has performed complex moves and suffered countless injuries, affecting almost every part of his body. Yet it was the most simple of maneuvers that proved to be most dangerous for the actor-cum-stuntman.
The incident occurred in 1986, during the filming of Armour of God in Yugoslavia. Chan was to perform a very routine stunt – that of jumping from a castle onto a tree. In his autobiography, I Am Jackie Chan, the star notes that he carried out the jump “perfectly“ the first time round, but was dissatisfied with the take. On the second try, he missed the branch and plumetted to the floor. A cameraman below rushed out of the way, thus leaving Chan with nothing to cushion his fall.
He writes: “I hit the rocky ground head first. A piece of my skull cracked and shot up into my brain, and blood poured from my ears. The production team quickly got on the phones to try to find the nearest hospital that could do emergency brain surgery, and eight hours later, I was going under the knife.“
Chan made a full and quick recovery after the successful surgery, but the accident has left a permanent hole in his head.
In a 2009 interview, UGO asked the 55-year-old what his most traumatic injury has been. He replied: “Still, I think everybody knows, the one in Yugolslavia, where I fall off the castle wall? Armour Of God. That is really dangerous. Actually, the stunt itself? Easy! Just the injury is very dangerous. That’s how I learn, the easy stunt, sometimes more dangerous than difficult stunt!“
The Rush Hour star has suffered many a blow. Over the years, he has managed to dislocate his pelvis and break his fingers, toes, nose, cheekbones, ribs, hips, neck, ankle and sternum. In the past, he has even joked about having broken practically every part of his body.
Though Chan is showing no signs of retiring, he is realising the effect age is beginning to have on his work. Speaking to Canwest News Service about his latest film, The Spy Next Door, which was released in January 2010, Chan remarks: “I tore a hamstring – doing nothing.”
“So these days, I have to tell myself, ‘Warm up! Warm up! Warm up!’ But on location, you forget some days to do it.”
Rambo star Sylvester Stallone is another action legend who has had to deal with many a blow on set, including a neck injury during the filming of his latest movie.
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