Like any workplace, injuries happen all the time on set – the only difference is that you don’t tend to burn your genitals while organizing a meeting or suffer major brain injury while carpooling for lunch, unless you suck at driving. On film sets, despite every precaution, these things seem a lot more organic.
That said, it’s way more rare when an actor or actress willingly undergoes physical harm, either for the sake of the art or through sheer dedication to the role. I’m not talking about poor Tippi Hedren or Peter Lorre being forced to by their directors – no, these are actors who only had themselves to blame.
For the sake of brevity I’ve also excluded crazy people who like to flip around, like Jackie Chan and Jet Li, from the list. They transcend a list like this, but there are plenty of other actors who gave their bodies to the craft in big ways
7. Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin
It was a favorite for anyone looking to sell this film to the public – dude done gets his chest hair yanked off while yelling silly shit. Of course, comedy is nothing without the people passionate about making it, so obviously Steve Carell opted to do it for real. In fact it was his idea from the start.
The scene itself was completely made up on the fly – and Carell took absolutely no steps to make the pain any easier on himself, something he later said he regretted. The worst detail has to be the lady doing the actual waxing – who they picked more for her acting ability and less for her ripping-hair-off-a-guy skills. That proved to draw blood.