Once Upon A Time in Hollywood has a fiery ending for a drama movie, though you knew something was coming given it’s Quentin Tarantino. An actual flamethrower was used for the thriller movie, and Leonardo DiCaprio did some damage the first time he got his hands on it.
Mark Wagner, a stuntman on the comedy movie, told Corridor Crew about an incident in which he was actually burned by the fiery weapon. “The first time, because Leo was a little bit nervous with the flamethrower, he was going really fast, so it didn’t light underneath the table,” Wagner recalls. “So the second time he went too slow, and on that one, he stopped on me and Travis [Fienhage], on our backs, and all I see is orange. I’m like, ‘What’s happening? What’s happening? What’s happening? I’m getting really warm’. And they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, stop stop stop!’ you know, I can hear everybody yelling.”
He started feeling very warm, and when he got to the ground, found getting up again was tricky. “My costume had melted, and I was stuck to the ground and I couldn’t roll over,” he remembers. “I finally peeled and rolled over, and I just said to the guys, ‘Hey everybody, I’m really hot, get everything off of me right now’. And they pulled all my clothes off, minus my underwear.”
Thankfully, Wagner’s only injury was a small burn on his arm. Not enough to quell his enthusiasm, as they needed another take.
“I was like, ‘Yep, I felt that!’ They’re like, ‘Are you OK to do it one more time?’ I’m like, ‘Yes, we’re doing this again, we gotta get this right!’,” Wagner says. That’s dedication! The scenes came out amazing, adding to what was already a strong movie since DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are co-leads. Practical effects tend to be the way to go, though Wagner might want a thicker suit next time.
For more fiery film choices, check out our list of the best action movies.