Some scenes ask a lot of their actors, whether it’s a big emotional meltdown or a risky manoeuvre that would typically call for a stunt professional to take their place.
Whether it’s to save time, to save money on a low budget production, or just to get that one perfect close-up of the actor in the action, many thespians have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their directors.
This commitment can sometimes pay off big, as seen in the Oscar wins of Method madmen Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis. The former risked life and limb to shoot 2015’s The Revenant, whilst the latter is infamous for committing whole-heartedly to every role he takes on.
Unfortunately, not all actors are lucky enough to get a gold statuette for their trouble.
Some are instead left scarred for life, literally and figuratively, after a scene pushes them past the brink. That’s why this list has compiled a rundown of the scenes so extreme that they left their stars scarred after shooting, whether said scars are mental, physical, or in the some cases, both.
10. The Mirror Scene - Nightcrawler
Velvet Buzzsaw director Dan Gilroy’s feature debut Nightcrawler was an intense slice of blackly comic neo noir which proved that a lean, bug-eyed Jake Gyllenhall was an acting heavyweight. The Prince of Persia star showed he was more than a blockbuster hero with his terrifying turn as the flick’s blank-faced anti-hero, a sociopathic crime scene photographer who plays way too big a role in his work.
Unfortunately, like a lot of actors attempting to prove their dramatic chops, Gyllenhall couldn’t resist a good dramatic mirror thumping sequence.
Not unlike Channing Tatum during the filming of Foxcatcher, Donnie Darko himself took his moody mirror-smashing scene way too seriously and genuinely sliced his hand open in the take that made it into the movie. Like Tatum (whose film was released the same year, weirdly), the actor punched clean through the later of safety glass, shattered the real stuff beneath and needed a hospital trip after the fact.
Gilroy of course kept this nasty accident in the film, so keep your eyes peeled to see Gyllenhall’s genuine blood in the scene if you’re into that sort of thing.