The Western Role That Nearly Killed Lou Diamond Phillips
Our September cover star tells of a scary accident on the set of 'Young Guns II.'
20th Century Fox/The Kobal Collection
While filming Young Guns II, Lou Diamond Phillips had such a serious riding accident that it could have ended his career ... or his life.
“I was young and brash, and the accident was completely my fault,” says Phillips “It happened in a scene that was not in the script, where I was supposed to be strung up for lynching. I rode into a narrow alley, wearing plastic shackles on my wrists with a real noose around my neck, and the remainder of the rope was wrapped around my saddle horn. … As the new scene got thrown together quickly, the stunt crew did not have time to make a break away noose.
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“Emilio [Estevez] rode in from a different location, and we stopped our horses right next to each other facing the opposite direction. Stunt men are riding around us, waving lit torches and discharging guns. I was then supposed to grab my shackles, turn sideways in the saddle and put my hands on a wall where there was an explosive device called a squid that was going to blow up. Emilio was going to shoot a full round at the wall, where the squid was to explode, looking like he had shot my shackles in half. Sure enough, Emilio shot his gun, but my horse didn’t bolt and go straight through the alley where several wranglers are were to stop him.”
Unfortunately the dangerous stunt did not go as planned and Phillips’ horse, reared, spun around, and turned in the opposite direction, away from the waiting wranglers, throwing the actor off.
“I was dragged by the noose around my neck. He continued to kick me in the head, and broke my right ulna in four places. The only thing that saved my life, as the horse was heading towards open desert, was when he ran me into a railroad tie, which took a chunk out of my left knee cap, but finally broke the rope.”