Stuntman paralyzed while making ‘Harry Potter’ tells his story | ET REALITY


When David Holmes arrived at rehearsal to perfect a fight scene for the penultimate “Harry Potter” film, he was strapped into a harness that was supposed to make him fly backwards.

But Holmes was pushed back too quickly, crashed into a wall and broke his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

His career as a specialist ended at the age of 25. He had played the title character Daniel Radcliffe and others, including Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy and Neville Longbottom, since the first installment of the franchise.

After years behind the scenes, Holmes will now tell his story in a new documentary, “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived”, airing on Max and airing on HBO on Wednesday at 9pm and on Sky Documentaries and NOW on Brittany on Saturday.

Holmes reteams with Radcliffe, the executive producer of the project, which captures his life before and after his injury. Radcliffe and Holmes said they hoped to draw attention to specialists, who often put their lives at risk with little recognition.

“It’s nice to know that my legacy in film is not just running into that wall,” Holmes said in an interview.

Holmes hasn’t fully embraced the spotlight, Radcliffe said, and “just wants to show it to other people.”

Radcliffe and Holmes had known for some time that they wanted to work on a project together, they said. However, at first Holmes did not want to be the center of attention.

“You put on a costume and assume a character the same way an actor does. You have that safety net to live behind that character,” Holmes said. “It’s very different now because it’s me.”

Radcliffe and Holmes had worked together on a podcast called cunning tricks, interviewing specialists and coordinators about their work. Radcliffe had also filmed some of the interviews and thought about trying to direct a documentary. But he was not at all satisfied with his work.

“We started filming some stuff and after a while I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m very good at this,’” he said. “We should bring someone else.”

To direct, they tapped Dan Hartley, who had worked as an assistant video operator, among other roles, on the “Harry Potter” films and recently directed “Lad: A Yorkshire Story,” a coming-of-age film about a young boy. 13 years old. -An old man befriends a park ranger after losing his father. The three eventually agreed to shift the film’s focus to Holmes.

It wasn’t the plan to use anyone from the “Harry Potter” team, but Hartley seemed like a perfect fit, Radcliffe said.

The cast and crew grew closer on the film sets, with Radcliffe referring to Holmes as a “cool older brother.”

“We wanted someone who had the same kind of connection to Dave as we did,” Radcliffe said. “It’s not someone from the outside who is going to shape Dave’s story into something more sensational.”

When they began creating the film, they realized that it was the first time they had all talked together about Holmes’ accident.

“No one wanted to be the first to bring it up,” Radcliffe said, “but I definitely think there was something quite cathartic for everyone in this movie to be able to talk about it with each other.”

Holmes spoke about what life was like after the injury and the people he met while he was hospitalized, including Will Pike, who was injured in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and was in the bed next to his.

Hartley and Radcliffe said seeing young men excited was moving, as was breaking away from traditional male stereotypes that can prevail in stunt culture.

“What I think is really powerful is seeing these young, sensitive men speak,” Hartley said. “They were so vulnerable and honest.”

Above all, Holmes said he wants his story to bring hope.

“We have all experienced loss in our lives. I learned it at the age of 25,” she said, “and it taught me to be present to appreciate the now.”

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