Hollywood news bulletin

Hollywood news bulletin, June 2018:

Audiences often assume that filmmakers use special effects to create the illusion of reality. Which is why this reporter was fascinated to learn, in a tweet this week from the President of the United States, that when Robert De Niro played Jake LaMotta in the film Raging Bull, actual professional boxers were employed to repeatedly slam their powerful gloved fists into Mr. De Niro’s head, rattling his brain and causing lasting brain damage.

It would be interesting to learn what sort of insurance was required to cover such a production decision, given the high probability of permanent tissue damage or even death to the highly paid movie star. So this reporter did a little investigating, to uncover to what extent other Hollywood productions have employed “real life” techniques behind the scenes.

I soon learned that this was not an isolated case. For example, in the film Chinatown, Roman Polanski used a real knife to slice open Jack Nicholson’s nose. Similarly, in preparation for filming Forrest Gump, actor Gary Sinise agreed to have both of his legs amputated (the legs were later re-attached).

Also, in the film The Shape of Water, the male lead was played by a genuine amphibious creature with magical healing powers. Perhaps most surprising of all, this reporter discovered that the actor Chris Hemsworth, the star of Thor, is in real life the actual God of Thunder.

I reached out to Mr. Hemsworth to ask what he thought about the fact that it took the President of the United States to uncover the truth about Hollywood production practices. Unfortunately, the actor was unavailable for comment, as he is currently vacationing on Asgard.

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