Daniel Radcliffe's 'Harry Potter' stunt double was left paralyzed from the chest down after stunt went wrong

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Although Daniel Radcliffe became a global superstar for his starring role as Harry Potter in the hugely successful movie series, there’s also another person with a legitimate claim to playing the boy wizard on-screen; stuntman David Holmes.

Holmes did all of Daniel Radcliffe's stunts throughout the Harry Potter franchise, landing his first gig as a stunt double in The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone in 2001 when he was just 17.

His small stature made him the ideal candidate to fill in for Radcliffe, who was just 11 at the time, and he continued to work with the young actor in every Harry Potter film thereafter, until a horrific accident on the set of Deathly Hallows: Part 2 changed everything in an instant.

In 2009, Holmes was strapped into a harness and rehearsing a stunt that involved him being "blown back" by a controlled explosion.

However, the stunt ended up going “badly wrong” and Holmes ended up slamming into a wall, paralyzing him from the waist down and confining the young stuntman to a wheelchair.

Following the accident, a source claimed the stuntman was conscious as he landed and immediately told colleagues “I can’t feel my legs”.

Speaking to The Mirror, an insider said: "The stunt double was badly hurt. He was rehearsing a flying scene which involved an explosion and it seems to have gone badly wrong.”

Paramedics rushed to the scene and Holmes was immediately sent to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in North London, which specializes in spinal injuries, where surgeons worked tirelessly to save him.

The surgical team managed to save David’s life- but told him he was now paralyzed from the chest down, with only limited movement in his arms and hands.

"'I have gone from being able to stand on my hands for half an hour at a time and then all of a sudden I can't sit up in bed," he told The Mirror.

size-large wp-image-1263182531
Credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

"My first thought was, 'Don’t ring mum and dad, I don’t want to worry them'," he added.

David spent six months in the hospital, where he learned to adjust to his new lifestyle, but was frequently visited by both Daniel Radcliffe and fellow Potter actor Tom Felton, who supported him throughout his recovery.

Radcliffe later hosted a charity auction to help raise funds for Holmes’ medical bills, and the two remain close friends today.

"I’ve got a relationship that goes back many, many years with Dave,” Radcliffe said during the charity auction, per The Mirror.

"And I would hate for people to just see me and Dave and go, 'Oh, there’s Daniel Radcliffe with a person in a wheelchair' - because I would never, even for a moment, want them to assume that Dave was anything except for an incredibly important person in my life."

In the years since his accident, neither David’s love for the industry or his friendship with Radcliffe has swayed, and the duo even teamed up to host their own podcast series together called "Cunning Stunts," in which the two of them interview stunt performers in hopes of shining a spotlight on one of the most important but overlooked areas of the film industry.

Although Holmes's injuries were life-changing, the brave star never let them define him, and said he was determined to take back control of his life no matter how difficult it might be.

In fact, he now runs his own podcast - Cunning Stunts - where he "hopes to highlight and pay tribute to the amazing work that our Stunt Coordinators and Performers do whilst on set in the name of entertainment."

Episodes are currently released weekly, so give it a download and hear more about the incredible lengths stunt actors go in order to put smiles on our faces!

Featured image credit: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy

Daniel Radcliffe's 'Harry Potter' stunt double was left paralyzed from the chest down after stunt went wrong

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

Although Daniel Radcliffe became a global superstar for his starring role as Harry Potter in the hugely successful movie series, there’s also another person with a legitimate claim to playing the boy wizard on-screen; stuntman David Holmes.

Holmes did all of Daniel Radcliffe's stunts throughout the Harry Potter franchise, landing his first gig as a stunt double in The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone in 2001 when he was just 17.

His small stature made him the ideal candidate to fill in for Radcliffe, who was just 11 at the time, and he continued to work with the young actor in every Harry Potter film thereafter, until a horrific accident on the set of Deathly Hallows: Part 2 changed everything in an instant.

In 2009, Holmes was strapped into a harness and rehearsing a stunt that involved him being "blown back" by a controlled explosion.

However, the stunt ended up going “badly wrong” and Holmes ended up slamming into a wall, paralyzing him from the waist down and confining the young stuntman to a wheelchair.

Following the accident, a source claimed the stuntman was conscious as he landed and immediately told colleagues “I can’t feel my legs”.

Speaking to The Mirror, an insider said: "The stunt double was badly hurt. He was rehearsing a flying scene which involved an explosion and it seems to have gone badly wrong.”

Paramedics rushed to the scene and Holmes was immediately sent to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in North London, which specializes in spinal injuries, where surgeons worked tirelessly to save him.

The surgical team managed to save David’s life- but told him he was now paralyzed from the chest down, with only limited movement in his arms and hands.

"'I have gone from being able to stand on my hands for half an hour at a time and then all of a sudden I can't sit up in bed," he told The Mirror.

size-large wp-image-1263182531
Credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

"My first thought was, 'Don’t ring mum and dad, I don’t want to worry them'," he added.

David spent six months in the hospital, where he learned to adjust to his new lifestyle, but was frequently visited by both Daniel Radcliffe and fellow Potter actor Tom Felton, who supported him throughout his recovery.

Radcliffe later hosted a charity auction to help raise funds for Holmes’ medical bills, and the two remain close friends today.

"I’ve got a relationship that goes back many, many years with Dave,” Radcliffe said during the charity auction, per The Mirror.

"And I would hate for people to just see me and Dave and go, 'Oh, there’s Daniel Radcliffe with a person in a wheelchair' - because I would never, even for a moment, want them to assume that Dave was anything except for an incredibly important person in my life."

In the years since his accident, neither David’s love for the industry or his friendship with Radcliffe has swayed, and the duo even teamed up to host their own podcast series together called "Cunning Stunts," in which the two of them interview stunt performers in hopes of shining a spotlight on one of the most important but overlooked areas of the film industry.

Although Holmes's injuries were life-changing, the brave star never let them define him, and said he was determined to take back control of his life no matter how difficult it might be.

In fact, he now runs his own podcast - Cunning Stunts - where he "hopes to highlight and pay tribute to the amazing work that our Stunt Coordinators and Performers do whilst on set in the name of entertainment."

Episodes are currently released weekly, so give it a download and hear more about the incredible lengths stunt actors go in order to put smiles on our faces!

Featured image credit: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy