Joseph Gordon-Levitt in stunt gone wrong

Actor needed 31 stitches.

by Jennie Kermode

Up-and-coming star Joseph Gordon-Levitt has revealed that he encountered more action than he bargained for after a stunt went wrong on the set of his forthcoming film, Premium Rush. After hurtling through the back window of a taxi, the actor was left with cuts and bruises and needed a total of 31 stitches to patch him up.

In the film, Gordon-Levitt plays a bike messanger fleeing Michael Shannon's corrupt police officer. Shooting involved several sequences in which he had to ride at high speed through the streets of New York City, which he acknowledges was a terrifying experience. The streets were, however, supposed to be closed off, and were mapped out in advance so he knew where to anticipate every obstacle. Things went wrong when a diplomatic car ignored the barriers and parked on the set, forcing actor to swerve and collide with a taxi, at which point he was catapulted forward and ended up inside it.

In real life, bike messengers routinely face similar hazards. A 2002 study found that their rates of injury at work are around 13 times the US average.

Since making his breakthrough in Inception, Gordon-Levitt has appeared in a number of high-octane productions, with a recent turn in The Dark Knight Rises. Premium Rush will open in the UK next month along with his next actionfilm, Looper.

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