Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Paralyzed ‘Harry Potter’ Stuntman David Holmes’ New Documentary Shows Off His Legacy 

Paralyzed ‘Harry Potter’ Stuntman David Holmes’ New Documentary Shows Off His Legacy 

Just before the premiere of his documentary David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived, the Harry Potter stuntman reflected on his life since the accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

While speaking to Yahoo! Entertainment about his life as the stunt double of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, Holmes stated it was the best job in the world. He said that the goal of the documentary, which was executive producer by Radcliffe, is to focus on Holmes’s career leading up to the terrifying 2009 accident on The Deathly Hallows Part 2 set. During the scene, 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. He launched into a wall, causing him to fall to the ground. He broke his neck and had a spinal cord injury.

“As a disabled man, if we can highlight the fact that I’m not just a disability, there is a person here, and I shine through past my disability [that’s a positive],” Holmes pointed out about the documentary.

David Holmes further explained that he remembered only wanting to focus on his legacy while filming the documentary. “I remember the early days telling Dan [Hartley, the film’s director] that I don’t want a single camera looking down at me,” he recalled. “Everything should be shot up. Everything should be empowering instead of disempowering with regards to framing my disability.”

Former ‘Harry Potter’ Stuntman Remains Very Protective of the Franchise’s Jobs Despite His On-Set Accident 

David Holmes said he wanted to be ready to tell his story because of how he thought Harry Potter fans would react. “My story is not the most positive of things to be associated with those films,” Holmes said. “And I’ve always been very protective of what those jobs mean to everyone. Now people are rediscovering those films again with their own kids, and they’ve grown up.”

Holmes further explained that his subject is a grown-up subject matter. “We touch on some really emotional things for the film because my journey is just that, it’s emotional.”

Also speaking about how society doesn’t give stunt performers enough credit, the former Harry Potter stuntman trains hard as well as risks their life and limbs for the sake of storytelling. “I have friends that still risk their lives every day for the sake of storytelling,” he pointed out. “Quite often audience members just think it’s a visual effect, or don’t realize that there’s been months of rehearsals or 18 years of gymnastics training that have gone into getting qualified as a stunt performer.”

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived is now airing on HBO and Max.