A “Harry Potter” Stunt Double Revealed the Scene That Left Him PARALYZED

Tragedy struck the Harry Potter movie set in 2009, when a mistimed stunt left David Holmes seriously injured and eventually paralyzed. More than a decade after the accident, the stuntman opened up about what went wrong that day and how his life has changed since then.

He joined the Harry Potter crew as a teenager.

© HBO / Youtube, © Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Warner Bros. and co-producers

At the age of 14, David Holmes had already trained in gymnastics, trampolining, high diving, kick boxing, horse riding and swimming. It was precisely then that he started his journey into stunt work when he became the body-double for a young actor in the 1998 sci-fi movie Lost in Space.

This opportunity led to his involvement in the Harry Potter film series, because he caught the eye of stunt coordinator Greg Powell. Holmes was asked to perform a broomstick test, which involved being strapped to the back of a truck and towed down a runway in front Chris Columbus, who directed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). This unique experience ultimately secured him a role as Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double in the iconic film saga.

The accident happened in the making of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

© HBO / Youtube, © Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 / Warner Bros. and co-producers

In 2009, while filming the sixth installment of the movie series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, tragedy struck Holmes. A planned explosion for a flying stunt went awry, causing him to crash into a wall and then land on a crash mat. He immediately sensed something was seriously wrong when he couldn’t squeeze his stunt coordinator’s fingers despite being able to move his arm, and that he couldn’t feel his legs.

He was rushed to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, where he got surgery, however heartbreaking news still followed. Holmes was paralyzed from the chest down, with only limited movement in his arms and hands. The incident marked a significant turning point in Holmes’s life and career.

He never lost his positivity when it comes to life.

© davidholmes83 / Instagram, © davidholmes83 / Instagram

Despite the life-changing nature of his injuries, the now 41-year-old refused to let them define him. Taking control early on, he faced the harsh reality with a determined mindset, acknowledging the tragedy while maintaining a sense of sheer determination to overcome it.

Holmes has since emphasized the importance of staying positive when it comes to dealing with his disability, noting that it helps in living with it. While he occasionally experiences flashbacks from the incident, he has learned to “live with and manage” them. In fact, Holmes still seeks thrills and nowadays, he achieves the adrenaline rush he has always enjoyed by driving a specially-modified car around racetracks at speeds of up to 150mph.


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