When the idea of actors putting their bodies on the line comes up, everyone immediately starts to think about Tom Cruise's valiant effort to conquer mortality or Jackie Chan's unflinching commitment to getting exactly the right bone-crunching (and sometimes snapping) stunt. But there are far more names to add to the list.
It's just not always the case that they actually set to put themselves in quite as much danger as Chan and Cruise seem to enjoy doing. Because, no matter what anyone says, acting is a tough gig. It's not just playing pretend: if you're in an action movie, you have to run around and look like you dont' care if you get hurt. If your character is supposed to be lost in a moment, it's hard to not actually let that happen and hang the consequences.
That's usually when things go wrong and actors end up literally bleeding for real in movie scenes. And unfortunately for them, those takes that included the actual bloody injuries sometimes end up in the movie. Blood, sweat and tears can go into acting, but in this case, it's all about the red stuff...
Some of the work that went into characterisation on the excellent Foxcatcher was really quite stunning. Comedy actor Steve Carell is completely transformed, both in character and appearance, Mark Ruffalo is unrecognisable and Channing Tatum was catapulted further into the seriosu actor band on the back of it.
All three of the central performances are great, but Carell's took the most plaudits. Which is something of a disservice to Tatum, who literally bled his own blood in one scene in the actual movie.
The injury came when Tatum got really into one tense scene where he punches and headbutts a mirror, as director Bennett Miller confirmed:
“He punched that thing with his head three times and shattered it, and put his head through it and through the frame behind the mirror and through the drywall that the mirror was hanging on and left a divot two inches deep. When we took the mirror down, there was a hole in the wall. And he actually cut himself, and you see his blood in that scene.”