When it comes to most Hollywood stars, their biggest concerns are remembering lines and looking pretty. They don’t touch the dangerous stuff, which is, of course, fair. Talented stunt men and women train their entire lives to pull off amazing movie feats in their steads.
However, a small circle of actors refuses to use any stunt doubles, no matter the challenge. While there are plenty of action heroes here, you might be surprised which other A-listers put their lives on the line for the perfect shots. These stars might just be the most fearless daredevils in show business…
1. Tom Cruise: Particularly in the Mission: Impossible series, Cruise’s stunts have become the stuff of legends. Notably, he risked it all by hanging off the side of an airplane and scaling the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
2. Kristen Stewart: Though she’s not known for being an action star — no offense, Twilight fans — Kristen doesn’t shy away from acting challenges. She overcame her childhood fear of horses to become an expert rider for Snow White and the Huntsman.
3. Jackie Chan: Enjoying international stardom for decades, Jackie’s stunts often blend action and humor. However, they aren’t without their risks. He once did an unassisted fall down a skyscraper, and the sequence was completely his own idea!
4. Angelina Jolie: Unlike many A-list actresses, Angelina pulls off nearly all her own stunts. She’s got the scars to prove it too. During the spy thriller Salt, for example, Angelina was hospitalized after hitting her head during a fight scene.
5. Cameron Diaz: When teaming up with Tom Cruise for Knight and Day, Cameron decided that she, too, didn’t require any stunt backup. She threw herself right into all the chase scenes and fistfights, just like a real-life Charlie’s Angel.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Some might say that Arnold’s greatest stunt was becoming the Governor of California. But he’s refused to use doubles in films like The Terminator and Commando, in part because no stuntman had big enough muscles.
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7. Daniel Craig: As the grittiest James Bond out there, the ultra-physical Craig seems like he really could have a license to kill. Of all his death-defying tricks, his fight atop a crane in Casino Royale stands out as a highlight.
8. Gina Carano: When you take her MMA background into account, it’s not surprising that Gina doesn’t mind getting a bit scraped up when she’s on set. She earned her fair share of minor injuries with action-packed appearances in Deadpool and Haywire.
9. Jason Statham: Projects like The Transporter and Fast and the Furious are perfect for Jason, who chases adrenaline both in and outside of souped-up cars. We can only hope he wears a seatbelt for those scenes!
10. Sylvester Stallone: Sly says that he’s always willing to put himself on the line for the good of a movie, and his storied medical history can attest to that. During production of The Expendables, he actually broke a vertebrae in his neck!
11. Chloë Grace Moretz: Even though she was in her early teens, Chloë trained for months with Jackie Chan’s stunt team for her role in Kick-Ass. As for her other preparation, she had to get her mom’s permission to use much of the profanity included in the script.
12. Harrison Ford: Whether he’s Han or Indiana Jones, Ford’s always going for the gold. He really did run from the giant boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and he insisted on skipping a stunt double — A.K.A. going Solo — for 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
13. Keanu Reeves: When he’s not moping on a bench, Keanu is busy mastering intricate fight scenes for films like John Wick and The Matrix. Of course, he didn’t actually stop all those bullets with his hand. That was a bit of movie magic.
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14. Christian Bale: Besides taking the lead on his fight scenes in The Dark Knight trilogy, Bale has turned heads with his startling transformations. He’s totally unafraid to alter his body, whether he’s packing on muscle or slimming down to 120 pounds!
15. Buster Keaton: In the era of silent film, filmmakers couldn’t rely on special effects for big scenes. Buster, one of the biggest stars of his day, was fearless in performing big stunts. He even famously rode on the front of a full-speed locomotive in The General.
16. Matt Damon: Even if Jason Bourne lost his memory, Matt didn’t get any amnesia of all the training he had to do for the Bourne films. Aside from martial arts instruction, he also mastered stunt driving and underwater maneuvers.
17. Viggo Mortensen: There was very little fantasy in Viggo’s turn as Aragorn, long-lost heir to the throne of Gondor. The film’s stunt coordinator called him the best swordsman in Hollywood. Viggo also survived mishaps where he nearly drowned and got stabbed.
18. Burt Reynolds: The 1972 classic Deliverance trimmed its budget by having all the actors do their own stunts, which almost proved disastrous. In a scene where Burt had to canoe down a waterfall, he broke his tailbone and almost drowned.
19. Steve McQueen: The only thing this Hollywood legend liked better than acting was driving — fast. With an impressive fleet of cars and bikes in his collection, he got permission to do most of his famous motorcycle stunts in 1963’s The Great Escape.
20. Zoë Bell: In Death Proof, Zoe spent much of her screen time hanging onto a high-speed Dodge Challenger. She was a perfect fit for the role, as she broke into Hollywood as a pro stuntwoman! In fact, Zoe did some work on another Quentin Tarantino flick.
While stars might want to do their own stunts, sometimes it’s too dangerous. That’s where stunt performers like Zoe Bell step in. She backed up Uma Thurman in both volumes of Kill Bill. In fact, stars all have their favorite stunt workers…
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: It’s no coincidence that The Rock’s double looks so much like him. That’s his cousin! Tanoai Reed has been doing stunts since 1995’s Waterworld, and started working with Dwayne on the set of The Scorpion King.
Andrew Garfield: Though it seems like a million different actors have played Spider-Man at this point, it’s still unusual to see two Peter Parkers onscreen at once! In this case, Andrew is swapping places with his stunt double, who’s wearing sweatpants for some reason. Maybe it’s laundry day?
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Charlize Theron: With the amount of driving and fighting that Imperator Furiosa did in Mad Max: Fury Road, it’s no surprise Charlize needed some help. If you can believe it, her stuntwoman ended up marrying Tom Hardy’s stuntman from the same film!
Ian McKellan: At different points in The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf is known as both “the Grey” and “the White.” Therefore, it’s only fitting that Sir Ian had two doubles! The one on the left took care of the stunts, while the giant on the right served as a scale actor next to the hobbits.
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Jennifer Lopez: Doubles don’t always have to be lookalikes. For the music video for “Follow the Leader,” Jennifer Lopez used a stuntman! Daniel Arroyo, the man behind the J-Lo wig, is a parkour expert who carried out tons of cool tricks.
Dave Bautista: Although Bautista comes from the wild world of pro wrestling, he needed a stuntman for some Guardians of the Galaxy scenes. Coincidentally, his double Rob de Groot shares a name with another Guardian! I am de Groot.
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Quvenzhané Wallis: When it comes to child actors, the law often requires producers to bring in doubles to take over any dangerous scenes. Quvenzhané’s double is much older than her, but you’d never notice in the film. We can thank movie magic for that!
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Michael J. Fox: Four Marty McFlys — what the heck did Doc Brown do this time!? Fan ideas for Back to the Future Part IV aside, Michael is posing here with his photo double, stand-in, and stunt double. Seems like a film set is just as complex as any of Doc’s gadgets!
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Chandler Riggs: Next time you’re freaking out during a Walking Dead episode, here’s a fun fact to cheer you up. While playing teenage zombie killer Carl Grimes, Chandler used a 33-year-old woman as his double.
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Carrie Fisher: Looks like Jabba the Hutt snagged a second captive! Leia wore the iconic metal bikini after being captured in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Carrie later shared that the outfit was less than comfortable, but it made for easy sunbathing between takes.
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Johnny Depp: Stuntman Tony Angelotti was a dead ringer for Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, but he left the series on bad terms. Tony suffered life-threatening injuries for a “human yo-yo” stunt and ended up suing Disney for negligence.
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Margot Robbie: With an unpredictable character like Harley Quinn, you need more than one performer to take on all her antics. When not working with Margot, stuntwoman Ingrid Kleinig also frequently backs up Evangeline Lily.
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Tom Cruise: The Mission Impossible star is adamant about doing his own stunts, whether he’s climbing the Burj Khalifa or hopping on Oprah’s couch. As Tom gets a bit older, however, he does use a double for certain projects like The Mummy.
Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz: Somebody stop me (from doing dangerous stunts on set)! With the cartoonish violence in The Mask, both Jim and Cameron needed experienced doubles. One of these tough nuts certainly doesn’t look too happy in such heavy makeup.
David Bowie: Anyone who’s watched Labyrinth has Jareth the Goblin King burned into their minds forever. But Nick Gillard did many of Bowie’s stunts, and he went on to choreograph the lightsaber fights in the Star Wars prequels. That’s only further proof that David Bowie is indeed an alien!
Bruce Willis: What’s this, the Blue Man Group out of costume? In reality, the two fellas on the right are backing up Bruce in A Good Day to Die Hard. When fighting that many bad guys, even John McClane could use a little back up.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Oh no, it looks like Skynet has built another Terminator! Actually, wrong movie — Arnold poses with stuntman Peter Kent here on the set of Commando. The film had a $10 million budget, but apparently that wasn’t enough to buy shirt large enough to cover all those muscles.
Will Smith: A true film and music talent, Will Smith can do it all — but he actually doesn’t do his own stunts. He’s too precious to risk injury! Below, he poses with his double on the set of Collateral Beauty in 2016.
Chris Pratt: Wow, it looks like the scientists of Jurassic Park found a way to clone Chris Pratt! His double Tony McFarr also collaborated with him in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
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Chris Hemsworth: Stunt doubles go through the same costume and makeup as main actors. That’s why it was an eye for an eye on the set of Thor: Ragnarok. But even with Chris’ and his stuntman’s injuries, you know The Avengers wish they had two Thors on their side.
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Robert DeNiro: Even a legend like DeNiro is glad to have his double step in. After all, he doesn’t want to have to pick up Zac Efron! For as talented as stuntmen are at picking up A-list hunks, however, some scenes still put even the best of them at risk.