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Near-Death Experience #1

Any time you read stories about Viggo playing Aragorn, it really seems like Viggo was kind of insane while he filmed it. He would only wield prop swords made of steel, he would do damn near all of his own stunts, and sometimes wouldn’t get out of his costume between takes, which once resulted in New Zealand cops being summoned to a bar after a patron was terrified of what appeared to be a man in medieval clothes with a broadsword sipping a pint like everything was normal in the afternoon.

Mortensen got pretty good at wielding that sword, and it saved his life. In the above stunt where Aragorn deflects a blade, it was based on a timing signal that would go off so that Mortensen could deflect what was a real piece of flying metal (though it wasn’t sharp).

But during a take, the signal didn’t go off and the blade was off trajectory, sailing at Mortensen’s head. He deflected the “blade” for real, and while the blade flying at his head wasn’t sharp, the collision would have definitely required a medical team if it had occurred.

 

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