Daniel Craig’s ‘James Bond’ Injuries Weren’t the Only Accidents to Ever Happen on Set

Accidents happen, and they seem to happen quite often on the sets of James Bond movies. Like Tom Cruise, Daniel Craig is one of the actors who insist on doing their own stunts, and he didn’t avoid the injury bug while playing Bond. He cut back on his stunt work for No Time to Die at the insistence of his wife, Rachel Weisz, but he still injured his ankle on what some called a “cursed” set. He might have gotten off easy, though. Craig’s injuries weren’t the only accidents to happen in franchise history, and sometimes the results were far worse.

Daniel Craig shoots 'Skyfall' in London in 2012, which was one movie where Craig's 'James Bond' injuries joined a long list of on-set ailments.
Daniel Craig films the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ | Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Daniel Craig got battered head-to-toe while playing ‘James Bond’

Craig’s ankle injury while filming No Time to Die, his fifth and final 007 film, was hardly his first injury on set. Lucky for him, it didn’t happen while he overcame a lifelong fear while shooting Casino Royale

Per British GQ, Craig’ has an extensive list of James Bond injuries:

  • He tore the labrum in his right shoulder while filming Quantum of Solace, and then he reinjured the shoulder doing a stunt later in the shoot.
  • Craig ruptured both calf muscles on Skyfall and had to incorporate rehab time around the shooting schedule.
  • Craig tore his ACL during a fight scene with former professional wrestler Dave Bautista on Spectre.

At least Craig had a sense of humor about being beaten and battered while playing Bond. “I was like, ‘Dave, throw me, for Christ’s sake,’ because he was being light with me,” Craig told GQ about the ACL tear. “So he threw me and, God bless him, he just left my knee over there.”

Craig’s Bond injuries are nothing to scoff at, but the franchise is littered with accidents.

Accidents and injuries on ‘Bond’ sets are nothing new

One of the defining elements of the James Bond franchise is its use of practical rather than computer effects as much as possible. The upside to that is the intense realism comes through the screen to the audience. The downside is severe and sometimes life-ending injuries.

Famke Janssen broke her ribs while filming GoldenEye during the fight with 007 in the spa. Janssen instructed Pierce Brosnan not to take it easy throwing her, according to IGN. He was reluctant to get too physical but relented when Janssen insisted, and the result was her rib injury. 

Later in the Brosnan era, Halle Berry suffered an eye injury while shooting Die Another Day. Shrapnel from an explosion drifted on the wind and into Berry’s eye, and she needed emergency surgery to fix the injury, according to Entertainment Weekly. Brosnan missed two weeks of shooting on the same movie because of a knee injury, per EW.

Other ‘Bond’ injuries include hitting a wall, a lost foot, and one death 

Bumps, broken bones, and torn ligaments seem to be par for the course, but sometimes the injuries on Bond sets have gone catastrophically wrong.

Martin Grace, Roger Moore’s 007 stunt double, smacked into a wall while hanging onto the side of a train in Octopussy. He broke his leg so severely he could see the bone protruding from his leg, per the Irish Times. Miraculously, he finished filming the scene after the injury. 

Cameraman John Jordan lost his foot while filming You Only Live Twice in Japan. While suspended from a harness during an aerial chase scene, a helicopter’s rotor clipped Jordan’s foot and nearly severed it off. Jordan underwent emergency surgery to have his foot reattached, but he opted to have it amputated when he returned to England, according to the Independent.

Moore’s Bond outruns would-be assassins while skiing a mountainside in For Your Eyes Only. During the chase, 007 tails a bobsleigh down a track. Unfortunately, stuntman Paolo Rigoni died when the sleigh flipped over, according to IMDb, and it wasn’t the first time the track was fatal.

The franchise has a history of botched stunts

Sometimes the accidents in James Bond movies don’t lead to injuries, but the botched stunts can still be catastrophic.

An explosion disintegrated the boat at the end of Thunderball and shattered windows miles away when the stunt coordinators used rocket fuel instead of regular explosives. A lack of plexiglass led to Sean Connery really coming face-to-face with a pair of sharks in the same movie, per IMDb.

Stuntman Rick Sylvester’s ski jump in The Spy Who Loved Me nearly turned dangerous, too. As he skied off a cliff face, the skis detached before a parachute opened. But the skis, hurtling at top speed in midair, nearly hit Sylvester as he deployed the parachute, as IMDb notes. 

Action, intrigue, and injuries are all part of the James Bond franchise, it seems.

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