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    15 Incredible Stunts Actors Did Themselves, Plus 14 Where Their Stunt Doubles Were Like, "Please Sit Down"

    No one in the world is more stressed than whoever handles Tom Cruise's insurance.

    1. Remember that scene in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark where our hero outruns a boulder? Harrison Ford actually did that. Ten times. The fiberglass-and-plaster boulder weighed 300 pounds and "might have crushed the star" if he hadn't been so quick on his feet. Said director Steven Spielberg, "He was lucky. And I was an idiot for letting him try it."

    Indy runs for his life from the boulder
    Paramount Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full clip:

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount / Via youtube.com

    2. AnnaSophia Robb played Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost her left arm to a shark attack when she was 13, in the movie Soul Surfer. Robb trained in surfing for six weeks, but all of the one-armed surfing stunts were done by none other than the real-life Bethany Hamilton.

    AnnaSophia Robb in a close-up, and then Bethany Hamilton surfing in faraway shots
    TriStar Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Hamilton said that she believed Soul Surfer was "one of the best surf Hollywood films ever made, in [her] opinion."

    AnnaSophia Robb and Bethany Hamilton at an event together
    Michael Buckner

    Here's a clip of a surfing sequence from the film:

    View this video on YouTube

    TriStar Pictures / Via youtube.com

    3. Guy Norris, the supervising stunt coordinator on Mad Max: Fury Road, choreographed the action of the sequence where Max is running from the War Boys specifically so that Tom Hardy (Max) could do all of his own stunts. Norris aimed to create "a foot chase with [the] same intensity as a car chase."

    Max struggles to escape from the pursuing War Boys
    Warner Bros. Pictures / Via youtube.com

    The most complicated part of the sequence came at the very end, when Max leaped to freedom and the War Boys dragged him back in. But, Norris said, "Tom did it all."

    Max leaps for a giant hanging hook, gets it, but is dragged back in by the War Boys
    Warner Bros. Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. Pictures / Via youtube.com

    4. Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double Sophia Crawford, who worked with her on the first four seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, took over during the first fight between Buffy and her Slayer-gone-bad counterpart Faith. Karen Sheperd and Mike Massa were doubles for Faith and Angel, respectively.

    The WB / Via hulu.com

    Here's stunt coordinator Jeff Pruitt's behind-the-scenes footage of the rehearsal:

    View this video on YouTube

    Jeff Pruitt / Via youtube.com

    5. According to Atomic Blonde stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave, Charlize Theron did "98 percent of her own action, including fighting, running, and those kinds of things." She skipped only a few stunts that she was prevented from attempting because of insurance reasons, including falling down the stairs, so her double Monique Ganderton stepped in for those.

    Charlize Theron kicking a guy in training and then while filming
    Focus Features / Via youtube.com

    Theron cracked two teeth and bruised her ribs while filming the movie's fight sequences.

    Charlize Theron about to hit a guy with a frying pan
    Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Here's a clip of her training:

    View this video on YouTube

    Focus Features / Via youtube.com

    And here's a clip of one of the finished fights from the movie:

    View this video on YouTube

    Focus Features / Via youtube.com

    6. Vic Armstrong was Harrison Ford's stunt double for the first three Indiana Jones movies, and in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, you can spot Armstrong jumping from a horse onto a tank.

    Stunt double leaps onto the tank
    Paramount Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Ford once sent Armstrong a photo of the pair of them together, along with a note: "If you learn to talk, I'm in deep trouble."

    Harrison Ford and Vic Armstrong together at an awards show
    Getty / Vivien Killilea / WireImage

    Here's the full horse-chase sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount / Via youtube.com

    7. When the script for the Malcolm in the Middle Season 1 episode "The Bots and the Bees" called for Bryan Cranston's character, Hal, to cover his body with 10,000 live bees, Cranston himself volunteered for the terrifying task. The "bee handler" used pheromones to attract the insects to Cranston and then smoked the bees so that they would be more "docile." Incredibly, Cranston was only stung once.

    Hal looks terrified (and covered in bees)
    Nickelodeon / Via youtube.com

    Here's a clip of the moment:

    View this video on YouTube

    Nickelodeon / Via youtube.com

    8. Heidi Moneymaker has been the stunt double behind Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow since the character's debut in Iron Man 2. She's pulled off many, many stunts, including one from The Avengers where she jumped on Captain America's shield and he propelled her upward.

    Moneymaker is propelled into the sky after jumping on Cap's shield
    Marvel / Via youtube.com

    Here's the trailer for Moneymaker: Behind the Black Widow, an E60 documentary about Moneymaker's career as a stunt double:

    View this video on YouTube

    ESPN / Via youtube.com

    9. In Star Wars: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) are forced by pursuing stormtroopers to swing on a rope across a chasm in the Death Star. Hamill and Fisher did the stunt themselves, and when someone asked Fisher if she trusted Hamill, she quipped, "The rope was the one to trust."

    Leia and Luke swing across the chasm
    Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

    Here's a clip of the moment:

    View this video on YouTube

    Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

    10. During the fight between the Bride and O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill: Volume 1, you can catch a lot of Uma Thurman's stunt double, Zoë Bell. Quentin Tarantino treated Bell like an actor and would ask her questions about the psychological motivations behind her character's incredible physical feats.

    The Bride and O-Ren fight with samauri swords
    Miramax / Via youtube.com

    Here's a clip about Bell's stunt work:

    View this video on YouTube

    Zoë Bell / Via youtube.com

    The fight itself is age restricted, so you'll have to venture to YouTube yourself to find it.

    11. Chloë Grace Moretz did the majority of her own stunts in Kick-Ass and its sequel, an experience she said gave her "so much physical confidence."

    Hit Girl takes down a bunch of hitmen
    Lionsgate

    Here's a compilation of Moretz's stunt training:

    View this video on YouTube

    Lionsgate / Via youtube.com

    And here's her character Hit Girl's final fight:

    View this video on YouTube

    Lionsgate / Via youtube.com

    12. Luci Romberg is Melissa McCarthy's stunt double, and she works with the actor so consistently that McCarthy had Romberg written into her contract. One of the most dangerous things she pulled off was hanging off a helicopter in Spy.

    Melissa McCarthy's character tries to hold on to a helicopter while it's midair
    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    Here's a video about Romberg's life as a professional stunt double:

    View this video on YouTube

    Refinery29 / Via youtube.com

    13. Carrie Fisher was asked if she wanted a stunt double during the scene in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi when Leia kills Jabba the Hutt, but she emphatically refused. She later explained it was "the best time [she] ever had as an actor" and said the "only reason to go into acting is if you can kill a giant monster."

    Leia strangles Jabba with her chain
    Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full clip:

    View this video on YouTube

    Lucasfilm / Via youtube.com

    14. Cary Elwes did a lot of his own stunts in The Princess Bride, but he wasn't the one to pull off that double flip during the duel between Inigo Montoya and Westley. A professional acrobat was brought in to make those cinematic gymnastics happen.

    Westley flips twice and then lands on his feet
    20th Century Fox

    Here's the full duel scene:

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    15. While filming Spider-Man: Far From Home, Zendaya (MJ) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man) were lifted about 110 feet in the air for a swinging stunt. Then the director decided to reshoot the scene with the actors suspended only 2 feet off the ground, and according to Zendaya, that low-stakes redo somehow looked better. But regardless of what ended up in the final film, she still did that stunt, dammit!

    Zendaya in the version of the stunt that ended up in the film
    Marvel / Via youtube.com

    Here's the final version of the scene:

    View this video on YouTube

    Marvel / Via youtube.com

    16. The other stunt Cary Elwes didn't do himself in The Princess Bride was the long tumble down the hill he takes just before Buttercup realizes his true identity. (It's the one where he's yelling, "As you wish!")

    Westley rolls down a hill while Buttercup watches
    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    Here's a clip of the moment:

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    17. Kristen Stewart did her own horseback riding in Snow White and the Huntsman, despite the fact that she, in her own words, "hate[s] 'em." She traces her phobia back to a childhood incident where she fell off a horse and broke her arm.

    Kristen Stewart as Snow White on horseback
    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Here's Stewart and the rest of the cast talking about what it was like to film scenes involving horseback riding:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    And here's a clip of Stewart on horseback:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    18. Crazy, Stupid, Love used a stunt double in place of Emma Stone during the scene where Ryan Gosling's character shows off using the Dirty Dancing lift. Stone tried to do the move herself, but having been traumatized by a childhood experience when she fell in a gymnastics class and broke both her arms, she was like "a possum who had fallen from a tree." She took the day off to watch Labyrinth in bed and recover, and the scene was reimagined so that it could be shot through a window in the rain, disguising the double.

    Ryan Gosling lifts the stunt double in the air
    Warner Bros. Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full scene:

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via youtube.com

    19. Daniel Craig is known for doing his own stunts as James Bond, including one moment in Quantum of Solace where he jumped out of a three-story building and landed on top of a moving bus. According to chief stunt coordinator Gary Powell, Craig is "not a lover of heights" but did the sequence anyway, even though he had to jump before the bus was even underneath him.

    Bond jumps onto a moving bus
    Sony Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Sony Pictures / Via youtube.com

    20. While Liam Neeson did his own fight choreography in the Taken films, whenever his character needed to be captured "flying through glass" or "jumping buildings," his friend and stunt double Mark Vanselow took charge.

    Liam Neeson's character jumping out of a window
    20th Century Fox

    Here's a chase scene from Taken 3 where Neeson's character is forced to jump out of a window:

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    21. Isla Fisher was really chained up in a water tank while filming Now You See Me, but the mechanism that was supposed to safely release her failed, and she ended up stuck underwater for almost three minutes. People watching the scene didn't realize she was in trouble, and thought she was just "acting fabulously."

    Fisher's character attempts to escape the tank but gets stuck
    Lionsgate / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Lionsgate / Via youtube.com

    22. Bobby Holland Hanton, Chris Hemsworth's Thor stunt double, severely injured himself while standing in for the actor during the gladiatorial fight between Thor and the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok. He (and I'll warn you now, this is graphic) "snapped my groin off the bone" while doing a "jumping flip kick." He healed up just fine, but it "took a little while," which I can only assume is a massive understatement.

    Thor fights Hulk
    Marvel / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full fight sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Marvel / Via youtube.com

    23. In Back to the Future Part III, Michael J. Fox's character, Marty McFly, is almost hanged, until Doc Brown shoots the rope and frees him. While they were shooting the scene, the rope was too tight around Fox's neck, and he briefly lost consciousness before anyone realized something was wrong. Fox wrote in his memoir, "I swung unconscious at the end of the rope for several seconds before Bob Zemeckis, fan of me though he was, realized even I wasn't that good of an actor."

    Marty hangs until Doc shoots him down
    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full scene:

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

    24. Caity Lotz does a lot of her own fighting as her Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow character, Sara Lance, but she leaves "taking falls or getting hit or being thrown across the room" to her "awesome" stunt double. She also doesn't like to risk scenes where she's thrown through glass, because the timing is so tricky and it can be a risky thing to pull off.

    Caity fighting a henchmen
    CW / Via youtube.com

    Here's a compilation of Sara Lance's fight scenes:

    View this video on YouTube

    The CW / Via youtube.com

    25. The "craziest stunt" Daniel Radcliffe was ever allowed to perform himself in the Harry Potter films can be found in the fourth entry, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. While filming the sequence when Harry is running from the dragon, Radcliffe was attached to a 40-foot wire that was only there to catch him at the very end of being "properly in free fall." He was 15 at the time.

    Harry slides off the roof
    Warner Bros.

    Here's the full scene:

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via youtube.com

    26. In Unstoppable, Chris Pine's character had to jump from a moving truck onto a moving train. Pine's stunt double, Daniel Stevens, did the trick, "all without using safety lines." Stevens named it his most memorable stunt experience so far.

    Chris Pine's double leaps onto the moving train
    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full clip:

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via youtube.com

    27. You can't talk about actors doing their own stunts without mentioning Tom Cruise. One of his most incredible feats is the time he held on to an Airbus A400M as it took off in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Airbus said it was "impossible," but despite the many dangers involved — including the fact that "no harness in the world" could keep Cruise attached if the pilot went too fast, and the possibility that a bird could hit him with the impact of a "cannonball" — Cruise made it happen.

    Ethan hangs off of a midair plane
    Paramount / Via youtube.com

    Here's a clip of the sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount / Via youtube.com

    28. Adrianne Palicki starred as Ms. Perkins in John Wick, and though she was certainly up to the challenge of doing her own fight choreography, her stunt double, Renae Moneymaker (sister of Heidi Moneymaker, Black Widow's double), stepped in when the time came for John Wick to throw Ms. Perkins through a glass window.

    Ms Perkins gets thrown through a window
    Lionsgate / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full fight sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Lionsgate / Via youtube.com

    29. And finally, here's another absurd Tom Cruise one. For Mission Impossible: Fallout, Cruise got certified as a helicopter pilot in six weeks, whereas it normally takes three months, by training 16 hours a day. At certain points during the chase scene, Cruise was dangerously close to the other helicopter, and visibility was low. Despite the imminent doom, Cruise was apparently "having the time of his life."

    Tom Cruise chasing another helicopter in his own helicopter
    Paramount / Via youtube.com

    Here's the full sequence:

    View this video on YouTube

    Paramount / Via youtube.com

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