Working with Robin Williams got Robert De Niro a broken nose

Robin Williams explained how he broke Robert De Niro’s nose on the set of “Awakenings” during an interview with Australian TV host Ray Martin. As Williams remembered, De Niro’s character had a seizure, and Robins, who played the doctor, stepped in to hold him back. “And my elbow said ‘BAM!’ and it made a sound like a chicken bone cracking, “Williams said.

I grew up watching professional wrestling (WWE to be specific), and the one thing that made my gear was to hear teachers, adults, and other opponents constantly point out that pro wrestling was fake. Even today I despise the f-word; I prefer the terms the script and choreographed – much like action movies and TV shows. Actors, like professional wrestlers, put their bodies at risk to entertain us. And unfortunately, faults occur on the set, which sometimes lead to damage or even worse. We received a grim reminder of that in 2021 with the fatal “Rust” shooting incident involving Alec Baldwin.

Fortunately, most of the accidents that happen on the set do not result in tragedy, but they do sometimes lead to serious injuries that require hospitalization. Around the time of the “Rust” tragedy, production on “Black Panther 2” paused after Letitia Wright sustained injuries while filming an action scene for the film. Williams, who inadvertently clocked De Niro in the nose, shows how actors risk injuries in even the most innocent scenes with minimal contact.

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