Dev Patel Details Gruesome Injury He Endured on Set of His New Action Movie


Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel recently opened up on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon about a devastating injury he endured while shooting his directorial debut, the hyper-violent action picture Monkey Man.

In addition to writing and helming the movie, Patel also stars in Monkey Man. He plays a disgraced fighter who has been held captive for years, forced to participate in a brutal underground sport which sees him clad in a monkey mask and pummeled by superior fighters. After breaking free, he takes his revenge against the men who incarcerated him. Patel shot Monkey Man in Indonesia on a minuscule budget.

The movie, in the style of Drive or The Raid, finds Patel engaging in a number of toe-curling hand-to-hand combat scenes. But as he told Fallon, the star performed most of the brutal stunts with a gruesome injury he suffered early on in the shoot.

“Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong,” Patel lamented. “In the first action scene, I’m basically a crash-test dummy and my co-star is using my face to break every piece of porcelain in this bathroom. And my hand, I heard it snap and I was like, ‘This is not good.’”

Patel was afraid that seeking medical treatment would shut down the production he had worked tirelessly to mount. Wearing a cast wasn’t possible because it would’ve meant reshooting the entire movie, or employing costly digital effects to erase it.

“You’ve got 450 people on an island and if I go down, the film goes down,” he said. “I told my producer, ‘Don’t say anything. Let’s just keep filming.’ By the end of the day my hand was like an elephant’s foot.”

Patel then took a private jet to see a doctor in Jakarta, who set the actor’s wounded wrist before issuing him a grave warning.

“The doctor put a screw in my hand and he goes, ‘You cannot put more than a pound or two on this thing. Otherwise, it’s like pulling a bent nail out of wood. You will ruin your bone,’” the Skins star recalled.

But that didn’t deter the actor from making the breakneck action movie he’d envisioned. “I went back to set the next day and was throwing myself and bouncing off a window,” Patel laughed.

Once the film was completed and it was safe for Patel to reveal his injury, the X-ray of his gnarled hand made its way onto T-shirts for the production team. It’s a somewhat fitting wound, as one of Monkey Man’s plot points revolves around the scarred hands of Patel’s character.

Monkey Man hits cinemas on Friday.

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