danger-on-the-set.jpgIt’s a matter of life and death! What, you ask? Your acting career! It is literally a matter of life and death! Just ask Isla Fisher, the fiery red head was filming a Houdini-like magic trick in a shark tank for a scene in the film Now You See Me–and she almost drowned! Of her near-death experience Isla explained, “My chain got stuck. I had to really swim to the bottom; I couldn’t get up. Everyone thought I was acting fabulously. I was actually drowning. No one realized I was actually struggling,” Well, I guess being married to wild-man Sascha Baron Cohen inoculates you to dangerous situations, but gasping for air with a film crew marveling at the verisimilitude of your performance is a close call in anyone’s book. Jason Statham, the 46-year-old action star had a similar experience on the set of the uber-action franchise The Expendables. While driving a truck for a garden-variety stunt, Jason toppled into the Black Sea arse over teakettle. But the clean-shaven tough guy lived up to his reputation by making his way out of the submerged truck, and swimming to safety. Now that’s an action star! You would think a star of Johnny Depp’s magnitude would be impervious to on-set danger. Let’s face it, investors are risking a lot of cash on his person; you’d think they would put him in a bubble and guard the bubble with their lives. Not so on the set of The Lone Ranger. Johnny was riding a horse named Scout when the truculent bronco threw him from the saddle, dragging Johnny through 25 yards of rough road. Johnny said of the life-threatening incident, “My horse had it in for me. Scout decided to jump over a few obstacles. I was still holding on to the mane like an idiot trying to get back up, and at a certain point you have to make a decision: Do I go down and hit the deck on my own? Or do I wait for the hoof to split my face in two? I decided to go down and, incredibly, the horse lifted its front legs and he missed me.”

Being on the set of a film–any film–is no joke. There is danger all around: lights, scaffolding, props, dollies, Method actors, and the list goes on. Be careful! You want to have a long and prolific career. When you walk onto any set, think of it like getting behind the wheel of a car. When you’re driving, you’re not necessarily in fear, but you are hyper aware (or at least you should be) of pedestrians, bike riders, drunk drivers, children, etc..

Oh, and by the way, the three actors mentioned above are just a short list of the near-fatal, on-set casualties last year. The full list would include Halle Berry (head injury), John Abraham (shot in the neck at close range), Jaimie Alexander (fell down a metal staircase), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (bike stunt). Be careful out there, people! As the sage philosopher Ron Burgundy so poignantly remarked in the dramedy Anchor Man, “You keep your head on a swivel when you find yourself in a vicious cock fight!”