In the world of cinema, stunts are arguably the place where the greatest amount of cinematic magic takes place. Camera work and actor coordination all need to be there to sell a hit. While the ever-increasing versatility of special effects has made the process easier in some cases, it is still a difficult and often dangerous part of the filmmaking process.
Double stunt performers – lookalikes of stars who are more accustomed to the danger at hand – help alleviate these issues, but some actors still choose to do their own stunts. Some of these actors continue to do so even as they get older.
ten Christian Bale is dedicated to his profession (age: 47)
At 47, Christian Bale is barely old enough to do his own stunts to be particularly shocking. What’s interesting is how, as he ages, Bale shows no signs of slowing down in his dedication to the roles he plays.
It is already well known that he did most of the fight scenes himself while playing Batman in the Black Knight trilogy. As recently as 2019 Ford vs. Ferrari, he lost 70 pounds to get into character – this came after his shocking transformation into Dick Cheney in Vice – and trained under Dan Nagle, a stunt coordinator and former runner.
9 Jason Statham is not afraid of a fight (age: 53)
At 53, Jason Statham isn’t particularly old either, and on top of that, he’s in great shape for the action roles he takes on. He seems to have an affinity for hand-to-hand combat scenes, as almost every movie he’s made features him in some form of direct combat. Even his most extravagant films like his role in the Fast and furious the franchise gives him the space to engage in hand-to-hand combat.
Statham seems to like doing these stunts and shows no signs of slowing down. He did a lot of brawl scenes of 2019 Hobbs and Shaw and, more recently, 2021 Anger of man.
8 Daniel Craig faces danger with balance (age: 53)
Like Jason Statham, Daniel Craig is only 53 years old and in great shape to do his own stunts for his films. He does his own James Bond stunts, gaining a number of injuries while playing the super-spy. These include the loss of certain teeth during filming Casino Royale, parting shoulder during filming Quantum of Consolation and break your leg while filming Spectrum.
Thankfully, these injuries don’t seem to have caused any major long-term problems for the actor, but for a while Craig was unsure if he wanted to continue playing Bond. He was finally convinced to come back for the next No time to die but it is confirmed that this is his last race as 007.
7 Keanu Reeves undergoes rigorous training (age 56)
Keanu Reeves also didn’t show signs of slowing down his stunts. In preparation for the John wick series, Reeves underwent something called “John Wick Boot Camp”, a difficult diet that involved training in judo and jiu-jitsu, training with multiple guns, and driving.
This training will continue as long as John wick movies continue to be made, but it’s the next one Matrix 4 it shows that Reeves is still more than willing to do his own stunts. In February of last year, a Matrix 4 A stunt involving Keanu Reeves jumping from a skyscraper in San Francisco was recorded by a spectator.
6 Donnie Yen is well equipped for danger (age: 57)
Practicing many different martial arts, Donnie Yen has been doing his own stunts in movies for decades. Yen can be seen showing off his fighting skills in a number of high profile films, from 2016 onwards. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 2017 xXx: The Return of Alex Cage and, perhaps most famous, his role as the titular Ip Man in the four-part film series loosely based on the life of the Grandmaster of Wing Chun. The most recent example of Donnie Yen in action is in the 2020 live-action remake of Mulan with Liu Yifei, who also did his own stunts.
5 Tom Cruise does whatever it takes (age 59)
Tom Cruise continues to do his own stunts in the majority of his films, including his Impossible mission series. As Ethan Hunt, Cruise has continued to perform a number of death-defying stunts to the present day.
Highlights include hanging out on the side of an airplane flying in Mission Impossible: The Rogue Nation, halo jump in Impossible mission: Fall, and climb the Burj Khalifa in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It’s easy to imagine that he’ll perform more stunts in the next one Mission Impossible 7, although it is more difficult to imagine what he will find for it.
4 Jackie Chan does not run away from danger (age 67)
Arguably the most famous example of an actor doing his own stunts, Jackie Chan has been putting his life and limbs on the line in his films for decades. It has a number of insane stunts including, but not limited to, sliding down the side of a building with no safety gear in Who am I, falling from a clock tower in Project A, crawling through hot coals in Drunk Master II, and the famous pole vault Police Story.
Death-defying stunts have defined Jackie Chan’s career, and at 67, he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Most recently, Jackie can be seen in the 2020s Avant-garde jet ski in the rapids of the river leading to a waterfall.
3 Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t need double stuntmen (age: 73)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the faces of the archetypal ’80s action hero, has done his own stunts in movies for most of his career. A former bodybuilder, Arnie was more than tough enough to perform his own stunts and staying in top shape kept him doing stunts for years to come.
At 73, Arnie’s stunt work seems to have slowed down, but he’s been doing his own stunts for decades, either because he wanted to or because they couldn’t find an understudy to match his physique. This was the case recently, when Arnie had to do his own stunts in 2014. Sabotage at the age of 66.
2 Sylvester Stallone always kicks (age: 75)
Another major figure in the action film, Sylvester Stallone’s tenacity during filming is well documented. During the filming of Rocky IV, Stallone told Dolph Lundgren, playing Draco, to really hit him during their match, an instruction that put Stallone in hospital for over a week.
Stallone also suffered a number of injuries while performing stunts in the first Consumables. At 75, Stallone is still making action flicks, with the expected superhero flick Samaritan yet to come out. During the filming of Samaritan, Stallone took to an Instagram story after a stunt, covered in dust and remarking that “old habits die hard.”
1 Harrison Ford refuses to slow down (age 78)
Harrison Ford isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty for his movie roles. By playing the adventurer Indiana Jones in The Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ford wanted to flee the rock itself for the iconic scene.
It hasn’t slowed down in recent years either. Ford did stunts for the 2008s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and was also actively performing stunts while filming 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the point that he broke his leg on the set. Ford also reportedly injured his shoulder while filming Indiana Jones 5, even if it doesn’t sound serious.
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