When you witness an actor do something in a movie, you always have to suspend your disbelief. Maybe they hired a stuntman, utilized special effects, set up some props, or simply picked the best take out of dozens of others. However, in certain films, the performers demonstrated some astounding abilities without the use of any kind of trickery. Let’s take a look at some of those unforgettable movie scenes.
Tom Holland – Spider-Man
Apart from being the quintessential Peter Parker, Tom Holland was cast as Spider-Man in part because he is a talented dancer and gymnast who even included some gymnastics in his audition tape. So, if you see Spider-Man spinning about and collapsing, it’s most likely Holland himself. He performs all of Spider-stunts Man’s by himself!
Lance Henriksen – Alien
Bishop’s knife trick to scare Hudson will always be remembered as one of Alien’s most famous sequences. Lance can, in fact, do this in real life and has had to do it several times as a result of that scene. He doesn’t always do it right, though: he caught Bill Paxton’s pinky finger with the knife on the film’s last take.
Keanu Reeves – Youngblood
In truth, Keanu owes his entire career to the ability he gets to demonstrate here. Keanu was a skilled hockey goaltender who was even given the opportunity to try out for a prominent junior team. However, Keanu’s objectives were never to play hockey professionally. Instead, he pursued acting and landed his first major part as Patrick Swayze’s goalkeeper in Youngblood.
Jack Nicholson – The Shining
The sequence in The Shining where Jack grabs the fire axe and chops his way through the door has to be the most renowned. They started with a prop door, as they generally do in these situations, but because Jack Nicholson used to be a volunteer firefighter, he was a little too proficient at axing through it. They had to bring in a reinforced door so he could completely demonstrate his skill to crash down doors.
Bill Murray – Kingpin
At one point in the film, Bill Murray throws three consecutive strikes. This was true, and the audience’s reaction was genuine, as they had seen Bill Murray do it on his first attempt. Murray believes he had not practised at all prior to the sequence, and the co-director, Bobby Farrelly, had already told the audience that Bill would throw three strikes and that they would be there for a while.
Mandy Patinkin – The Princess Bride
Mandy Patinkin was a trained fencer, which enabled him to perform the fencing sequence and create one of cinema’s most famous sword fights. Despite his fencing expertise, he had to rehearse for eight hours a day for over two months in order for him and his co-star Cary Elwes to be able to perform the fight scene left-handed and backwards. They had to even learn each other’s moves.
Daniel Day-Lewis – The Last of the Mohicans
Daniel Day-Lewis is known for his intense method acting, but he’s never gone as far as he did for the production of The Last of the Mohicans. In preparation, he lived off the grid for six months, practising himself various survival skills. He refused to eat any food that he hadn’t hunted or gathered himself, even during filming.