Daniel Radcliffe’s Longtime Stunt Double Was Tragically Paralyzed While Making the Final Installment of “Harry Potter”

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Filed under: things you never heard about, well-kept secrets, and how Warner Bros. influences press coverage.

Former gymnast David Holmes was Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double on every Harry Potter film – until an accident rehearsing an aerial explosion stunt for Deathly Hallows left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was only 25 when the mishap occurred, and, though he talks about how he felt a “sense of tragedy” when he learned he was paralyzed, Holmes has luckily managed to find plenty of ways to stay fulfilled in his new, altered existence.

Shortly after the incident occurred, a source from on set told The Daily Mirror:

It is thought he may have been caught by the explosion and hit the ground very hard. He told crew members who went to help him he couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. Everyone is just hoping he makes a good recovery. It has come as a terrible shock.

Meanwhile, the studio’s only comment was:

We can confirm a member of the Harry Potter production was injured in an accident. We are awaiting further news. Out of respect for the family we are unable to comment further.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

In truth, the explosion first threw Holmes into a wall, then he fell onto the crash pad on the ground. He was moved to a London area hospital, where he learned the extent of his injuries. As he told The Daily Mirror, “there was definitely a sense of tragedy for me, but also a sense of sheer determination to beat it and better it.”

Both Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton visited David in the rehab facility, and, though it ultimately cost him use of his legs, David Holmes remembers his time on set fondly:

It was an amazing experience. I loved it and Dan was an absolute pleasure to work with. The cast and crew were like a second family and I remain in touch with a lot of them to this day.”

Holmes spent 6 months recovering at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, and he remains an ambassador for the facility. His injury hasn’t interrupted his thrill-seeking lifestyle, either – now he races modified cars at speeds that top 150mph.

As far as his professional life, after his injury he started Ripple Productions with friends. They produce a podcast that offers coping mechanisms to people who have suffered similar injuries, among other projects.

It is, in the end, the best sort of tragic story – an inspirational one.

If you’d like to learn more about the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, click here.

If you’d like to listen to David Holmes’ podcasts, click here.

h/t: Daily Mail

h/t: Movie Pilot

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