Daniel Radcliffe’s lead stuntman in the Harry Potter films, David Holmes, became paralyzed after breaking his neck in a tragic accident on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Now, Holmes and Radcliffe have partnered up to tell the former gymnast’s coming-of-age story leading up to and following the accident. The documentary features candid personal footage shot over the last decade; a behind-the-scenes look at Holmes’ stunt work; scenes of his current life; and intimate interviews with Holmes, his friends and family, the Harry Potter star and some of the film’s crew.
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“Being a stuntman is the best job in the world,” Holmes says early in the trailer of the doc. “You’re constantly being tested, just risking it all. I used to fly. Nothing’s like it, man.”
Holmes, Radcliffe, who executive produces the doc, and the rest of the Harry Potter cast grew up together. The stuntman joined the film franchise ahead of its first installment and remained a major part of every film until the penultimate one when he had his accident.
“It is unfair. He shouldn’t have had to do any of that,” Radcliffe says, visibly emotional. “This terrible thing happened to Dave, but I don’t wanna talk as if his life is a tragedy. The way his life has affected the lives of people around him means that it is the furthest thing from that imaginable.”
The HBO documentary marks the most recent collaboration between Holmes and Radcliffe. In 2020, the pair launched a podcast called Cunning Stunts, in which they break down major action scenes in films and interview stunt performers in the industry.
David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived hits the streamer Nov. 15.
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