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‘Harry Potter’: This ‘Tragic’ Accident Left Daniel Radcliffe’s Stunt Double Paralyzed

‘Harry Potter’: This ‘Tragic’ Accident Left Daniel Radcliffe’s Stunt Double Paralyzed

Although the Harry Potter franchise is iconic and continues to have a following like no other, there is a side of the franchise that not everyone has seen.  And the film franchise’s star, Daniel Radcliffe, is ready to share what has happened behind closed doors/closed sets. 

According to The Independent, Radcliffe is working on a new documentary about his Harry Potter stunt double, David Holmes, and the horrific accident on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 that paralyzed Holmes. 

The documentary, David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived, will share details about the accident that Holmes’ world upside down. While rehearsing a flying scene at the Warner Bros Studios in 2009, Holmes was pulled backward “at speed” by a high-strength wire in a “jerk back” stunt. This kind of stunt notably reflects an explosion effect. Unfortunately, Holmes ended up being launched into a wall and immediately broke his neck. 

After being rushed to Watford General Hospital, Holmes was transported to Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. He remained there for six months. The stuntman eventually discovered that he is paralyzed from the check down. He also had limited movements in his arms and hands. 

Radcliffe and Holmes remained close following the nearly deadly accident on the Harry Potter set. More than a decade after the accident, the duo launched their Cunning Stunts podcast together. 

Holmes notably played Radcliffe’s stunt double for the first Harry Potter film. The documentary will feature “candid” personal footage shot over the past ten years as well as behind-the-scenes footage from Holmes’ past stunt work. Interviews with Holmes and Radcliffe, as well as Holmes’ friends, family, and former crew, will also be in the documentary. 

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived will premiere on November 15th through HBO. 

Former ‘Harry Potter’ Stuntman Shared Details About the Accident That Left Him Paralyzed 

Holmes previously recalled what happened on the Harry Potter during a 2014 interview with The Mirror. “I hit the wall and then landed on the crash mat underneath,” he explained. “My stunt coordinator grabbed my hand and said, ‘Squeeze my fingers.’ I could move my arm to grab his hand but I couldn’t squeeze his fingers.”

The former stuntman knew he was in a bad situation when he looked into his coordinator’s eyes. “I remember slipping in and out of consciousness because of the pain levels,” he continued. “I’d broken a bone before, so recognizing that weird feeling across my whole body from fingertips right down to my toes, I knew I had really done some damage.”

While recovering, Holmes said he was regularly visited by Radcliffe and fellow Harry Potter star Tom Felton. Radcliffe even held a charity auction and dinner to raise funds for Holmes’ medical bills. He described Holmes as an “incredibly important person in his life.”