Surely there are many reasons why an actor would be excited to be a part of a new Terminator movie, but for Gabriel Luna there was definitely one particular aspect that stuck out: the chance to do scenes with franchise star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fortunately for him, he got such an opportunity in the making of Terminator: Dark Fate – even getting to go toe-to-toe with him in a major fight sequence… but what makes the story extra special is that the young actor filmed that notable sequence while unknowingly having two fractured ribs.
Terminator: Dark Fate held its domestic press day in Los Angeles this past weekend, and it was while sitting down with Gabriel Luna that I learned about the surprise injury he brought with him into one of the most significant weeks of his acting career. I asked him what it was like filming sequences with the action legend that is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he took he back to way before production even started, and he was counting down days until the big day:
As those with any exercise experience can attest, that kind of “pinch” can be scary. Sometimes it turns out to be absolutely nothing, just a momentary bit of pain caused by a tweaked nerve, and sometimes it can be the first indicator that something is really wrong. Of course, having read the headline and the first paragraphs of this story, you know that in this case it’s the latter.
Given the lack of clarity the “pinch” presents, the natural thing to do is wait and see if it continues to be a problem. This is the route that Gabriel Luna took, taking the “sleep on it” method, but that turned out to not fix things. And certainly not helping him at all either his part as Rev-9, a nearly unstoppable villain in Terminator: Dark Fate – meaning that most of his scenes saw him taking considerable hits. Said Luna,
When “sleep on it” failed, “play through the pain” was the mentality that took over for the actor. Gabriel Luna was being given the chance to perform scenes and do fight choreography with the star of not only Terminator, but also Predator, The Running Man, Commando, and so many others, and he was not going to delay things because his back felt tweaked.
The good news is that doing his Terminator: Dark Fate scenes with Arnold Schwarzenegger was entirely worth it, as Luna had a blast crippling with the former Governor of California, and found himself wowed by his scene partner’s continued commitment to the craft:
Having completed the work that he had been passionately anticipating, Gabriel Luna opted for some physical therapy, and it was there that he learned that what was going on with his back was much more serious that a lower back muscle strain. The actor explained,
Those are definitely not words that you ever want to hear from a masseuse, and it was a message that Gabriel Luna took to heart, and an appointment was made.
After tests were done, the Terminator: Dark Fate star got the news: two fractured ribs. That’s pretty serious and scary stuff, but as the actor explained, the situation could have been much worse:
Reflecting on that whole part of the experience, Gabriel Luna was able to smile and laugh, and the great news is that the fight sequence between the Rev-9 and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 a.k.a. Carl in Terminator: Dark Fate is excellent. He summed it up thusly:
Terminator: Dark Fate, which also stars Linda Hamilton, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, and Edward Furlong, is now playing in countries around the globe, but will be arriving in theaters in North America this Friday, November 1st.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.