10 Actors Who Almost Died on Set

Close call is an understatement.

If you thought Halle Berry, Jason Statham and Jennifer Lawrence were BAMFs, wait until you learn this factoid: They all escaped death. Yup.

All three of these actors almost died while filming projects because of faulty sets, stunts gone wrong or some other weird incident. And they’re not the only ones. Many actors fought the Grim Reaper head-on and won while on the job. Here are 10 particularly mind-blowing examples.

  • 1 Meryl Streep
    Universal Pictures
    Meryl fell overboard into freezing water during production of The River Wild (1994). Thank goodness her co-star Kevin Bacon was in close proximity—he pulled her out of the water before anything fatal happened. (We can’t imagine the cinematic world without Meryl!)

  • 2 Gerard Butler
    20th Century Fox
    A giant wave sucked Gerard below water while he was working on the surfer flick Chasing Mavericks (2012). But he rose from the sea like literal King Triton.

  • 3 Jason Statham
    Lionsgate
    Jason showcased his MAN status on The Expendables 3 (2014) set. Here’s what went down: Jason was driving a truck during a stunt when the brakes failed. He crashed into the sea, but don’t worry: He was able to escape and swim to land. Such a gladiator.

  • 4 Jennifer Lawrence
    Lionsgate
    Jennifer had a near-death experience on the set of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014). A fog machine glitch caused the tunnel JLaw was running through to fill with smoke. The Oscar winner couldn’t breathe, but managed to escape before things got really bad. Katniss can handle anything.

  • 5 Johnny Depp
    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
    This is scary. Johnny faced death while filming The Lone Ranger (2013) when he fell off his horse and was dragged 25 yards. Can you imagine?

  • 6 Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Columbia Pictures
    The world almost lost this beautiful face during a frightening incident on the Premium Rush (2012) set. Joseph crashed into a New York City taxi while pedaling during a scene. Thankfully, Joseph survived—though he did endure 31 stitches. Ouch.

  • 7 Charlize Theron
    MTV Films
    Charlize flexed her badass muscles by doing her own acrobatic stunts in 2005’s Æon Flux. However, the Academy Award winner freaked out the crew when she landed on her neck during a stunt. The movie closed production for eight weeks, and doctors feared Charlize would never fully recover. Thankfully, she did, because she’s a slay queen.

  • 8 Jackie Chan
    Golden Harvest
    Jackie loves to do his own stunts, but things went awry during a leap in Armour of God (1987). He screwed up the execution of a jump and winded up landing headfirst into the ground. And get this: Jackie allegedly had emergency surgery to extract a skull piece from his brain.

  • 9 Isla Fisher
    Summit Entertainment
    In one electrifying scene in the film Now You See Me (2013), Isla pretends to drown in a water tank. But here’s the tea: She was actually drowning IRL. The crew didn’t stop her because they thought she was just acting her butt off. Somehow, Isla managed to escape—talk about art imitating life!

  • 10 Halle Berry
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    Halle choked on a piece of fruit during a love scene with Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day (2002) and almost died. The lighting of the scene was rather dark, so the crew didn’t register the crisis at hand. But Pierce saved the day: He performed the Heimlich maneuver, which saved Halle’s life.