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Risks Involved in Acting

What Actors Do for Our Entertainment

We often think that acting can be an easy job; just show up and shoot one scene and the day is over. This is a misconception. There are many health risks involved in being an actor.

One of the many health risks is anorexia. There is a huge pressure on female actresses to be thin and beautiful. However, many of these actresses take this concept too far. According to Fox News, these celebrities dealt with anorexia: Princess Diana, Jessica Alba, Mary-Kate Olsen, Nicole Richie, Ashlee Simpson, Paula Abdul, Lucy Hale, Lady GaGa—and those are only a few examples. We should not be forcing celebrities to look thin because it damages not only their health, but the health of young girls looking up to these celebrities.

Another health risk is some of the roles that actors take on. For example, Tom Hanks. When he was filming Cast Away he had to lose fifty pounds in a short amount of time, which is a huge risk for the body. Before filming, he also had to gain a lot of weight, as well. This was, of course, to make the movie "authentic," and it is one of his best known movies. Also, before filming the movie, the screenwriter had purposely stranded himself on an island (to get a feel for what it would be like), which was a risk in itself. On top of the large weight gain and loss, Hanks had also sliced his leg open while filming.

We are familiar with Heath Ledger being the Joker in one of the Batman films. What really led Ledger to his death was that he had in some way become the Joker because of how seriously he considered the role. After he passed away, a journal was found with pictures of scary clowns, comic strips, drawings of the joker on repeat doing violent things. Ledger had cut himself off from his friends and family. No one knew what was going on. Ledger was so dedicated to the role that he actually fell into insanity, which led him to his tragic death. 

Next, there are many films where a few things have gone wrong. For example, when filming Transformers the actor Shia LaBeouf was supposed to be chased by dogs in a scene. The dogs went out of control and were actually wanting to bite the actor. Luckily, LaBeouf is a fast runner and managed to escape the dogs when they wanted to attack. Another example is when Kate Winslet's jacket was caught when filming Titanic and she was supposed to go through the gate and escape the room that was filling up with water, causing her to almost drown. The actress had a near death experience on set. A similar incident happened to Isla Fisher when filming Now You See Me. In one of the first scenes when she was in the water cage, the trapdoor was stuck and she nearly drowned. 

There are other incidents where actors have hurt themselves while filming. There are examples are from Lord of the Rings; Viggo Mortensen was told to reshoot a scene in The Two Towers and when he kicked the helmet that was on the ground, he broke two of his toes, so the scream that comes out of him is real. Another incident with the same actor: he got a chipped tooth in the scene with battle for Helm's Deep. The other incident was when Sean Bean is running after Frodo in the first Lord of the Rings film and a piece of glass was missed by the film crew and the glass went straight through his foot. Next, the actor Andy Serkis started experiencing lots of back pain due to hunching over and crouching and he kept having to go back and forth from shooting to off set. 

There are movies where the actresses/actors do the stunts themselves. For example, Charlize Theron was filming Aeon Flux—and there is a scene when she does a back flip in the air, but then while mid-flip, a spinal injury occurred and she was taken to the hospital. She was lucky that she is able to walk again. Another severe injury happened in Wizard of Oz, with the actress, Margret Hamilton who played the witch. When the flame thrower is tossed and she disappears, she was supposed to disappear through a trap door. However, the door was stuck and she was severely burned on her face and hands.

Another almost death experience was Matthew Fox when filming the television series Lost. There is a scene where he gets into an intense fight and his opponent stabs him. The prop knife was not retracting and the co-actor actually stabbed him in the chest. Luckily, Fox was wearing a protective vest underneath, so that saved his life.

There were also a few minor injuries and risks that happened while filming. A good example is when Jennifer Lawerence was shooting a scene that took place in a tunnel and there was mist. The fog machine was malfunctioning and she had almost passed out due to the confined space and the amount of fog. Then, in the film Foxcatcher, Channing Tatum smashes his head against the wall and there is a large hole left in the wall, and he probably had a concussion after that scene.

There are also incidents where some people are too stubborn to regard the detour signs that film crews put up. When Joseph Gordon Levitt was filming Premium Rush, there is a scene where the actor rides a bike. A taxi driver decided to disregard the signs that were put up and he had crashed into Levitt's bike, leaving a large scar on his arm. However, the actor was okay and was able to continue filming.

Other injuries include: Nicole Kidman fracturing her ribs. Not once, but twice. The first time was when she had a dance number and the second was when she was trying to fit into a corset, (which we all know is uncomfortable). This was all in the duration of filming Moulin Rouge. Then, in Django: Unchained, the actor Leonardo DiCaprio slammed his hand on a desk, which made his hand bleed, but he finished the scene anyway and the director decided to leave it in.

This is only to name a few actors and actresses, but these are health risks and injuries which have occurred over the filming of movies. Keep in mind that all of this was for our entertainment.

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