When you think of people who almost died in movies, who's the first actor to come to mind? If that actor is anyone other than Jackie Chan, then you've never seen any Jackie Chan movies. You'd need more than all of your fingers and toes (Chan has broken all of his) to count the number of times that Jackie Chan was injured during one of his many insane stunts in some of the best martial arts movies in existence.
Make no mistake, he does every single stunt on his own and some of the most dangerous action scenes are ones he wrote and directed. The man is fearless and utterly bonkers.
Here are a bunch of Chan's craziest feats, many of which ended in injury and all of which probably should have ended in death.
Chan Was Hit By A Helicopter While Filming Super Cop
While filming Police Story 3: Super Cop, a 1992 film about Hong Kong cop Chan Ka-Kui, Jackie Chan was hit by a helicopter. If you skip to the 1:40 mark of the video, you'll miss a lot of other near-fatal stunts, but you'll see the outtakes from a scene in which Chan dangles off of a rotating bar that extends from a train. He's supposed to be able to swing back away from the swooping helicopter, but the bar malfunctions and the action star is struck by the aircraft. He broke a rib and a bone in his shoulder, and dislocated his cheekbone, which should be impossible, but the man really can do anything.
During Production Of Project A, Chan Fell Six Stories And Landed On His Head
Project A is a story about a 19th century Hong Kong police force dealing with some troublesome pirates, but it's nothing that Jackie Chan's character Sergeant Dragon Ma can't handle. After a clock tower fight scene, the handcuffed protagonist falls six stories from the tower, through two awnings, and lands on his head. It's not an outtake; the scene played out exactly as scripted. The actor allowed extras to help him to his feet but he finished the scene, damaged cervical spine and all.
Chan Dislocated His Breastbone During Operation Condor
In Armour of God II: Operation Condor, Jackie Chan basically portrayed a Chinese Indiana Jones and there's a relatively innocuous stunt (by the actor's standards) that resulted in Chan's dislocated sternum. In the outtakes (around the 48 second mark), as he slides down a steep rocky surface on a chain, the actor flips off at the end and lands awkwardly. Somehow, he dislocated his breastbone, a typically impossible feat.
The Actor Dislocated His Pelvis And Injured Two Vertebrae To Get The Perfect Clip In Police Story
One of Jackie Chan's worst failed stunts took place during an earlier installment of Police Story. In it, protagonist Officer Chan Ka-Kui kicks a lot of bad guys and jumps on a lot of stuff. He actually jumps on a pole in a shopping mall decorated with Christmas lights. Though it went as intended, the stunt still had bad repercussions for Chan. While sliding down the overheated pole, the actor burned his hands, pulled down all the light bulbs, and eventually crashed through glass. Chan, who could very well be a masochist, dislocated his pelvis and injured two vertebrae. He could've been paralyzed.