Jackie Chan has done a lot of stunts during his life. In fact, he's also hurt himself numerous times while attempting stunts, including breaking bones and even dislocating his pelvis. He's no stranger to injury, but there was one movie that very nearly ended up killing the actor. And it was all because of a scene involving beer and a tree. The movie was Armour of God, a flick that came out all the way back in 1986.
During a recent interview, Jackie Chan reminisced about what happened on the set of Armour of God, noting that early in the day he was drinking a beer for a scene. The scene required him to actually crack open the can of beer and take a sip, so water couldn't really be substituted at the time. So far, so good. Then, after a morning of cracking open a beer, Chan had to literally jump from an overhang into a tall tree. The first take went well, but that wasn't enough for Chan, who felt he could do the scene better. On a later take, disaster struck.
I try to grab every tree--they just keep breaking. Breaking, breaking, breaking, breaking. The, boom, I just hit on the rock. I get up, I thought, 'It's nothing.' I just feel my back's hurt. Then I get up, but everybody pushes me down because my whole body was numb. By the time the numb passed, then I feel my air and I see the blood. We go to the hospital... I almost died.
He doesn't seem to be exaggerating. Although he initially thought he was OK, as it turns out, during the fall a piece of bone punctured through his skull and into his brain. Per what he told Yahoo, it was only the fact that the Armour of God crew carried him down the mountain and to the hospital where they could operate that he survived. You can take a look at what the final shot ended up looking like, below.
Safety rules and regulations are far more complex and structured in Hollywood than they were back in 1986, and Armour of God was shot in Yugoslavia and other areas, rather than the United States. But the injury Jackie Chan sustained is clearly a good example of why stunts are a dangerous business, even for someone as trained and competent as the martial arts actor.
Although the experience nearly killed him, it doesn't seem to have dampened Jackie Chan's love for stunts all that much. At the ripe age of 63, Chan is still filming movies, and he has this year's The Foreigner, which also stars Pierce Brosnan, out in theaters currently. With or without Chan, stunts are continually a big deal for movies, and there are a ton of other action-oriented flicks coming up. Check them out with our full movies schedule.