Izabella Scorupco and Alan Cumming in GoldenEye

Ouch! Alan Cumming reveals how he got burned by liquid nitrogen on GoldenEye set

Contributed by
Jun 1, 2018

We all like to see a grisly end for a baddie in a James Bond movie – but at what cost? Sadly, for Alan Cumming’s Boris "I'm invincible!" Grishenko in 1995's GoldenEye it involved some unintentional method acting.

In a chat about his career on PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing (via Entertainment Weekly), the Scottish star of CBS' Instinct revealed he was burned by actual liquid nitrogen during the filming of his character’s demise, whereby humble programmer-gone-bad Grishenko is frozen to death by a computer coolant.

Explaining that there was a model of himself made to film the scenes of Grishenko getting frozen, Cumming also had to film some risky scenes himself, which resulted in him being in the line of fire. "When I was shooting it I had a strap thing around me that held me so I couldn't move when all the stuff started to fall," he explained, referring to some liquid nitrogen that was used to create a smoke effect.

"There were some big lumps of liquid ice, liquid nitrogen at the bottom of the thing, and it landed on my head and I couldn’t move. It started burning my head."

To make matters worse, Cumming was unable to move once he realized he was being burned, because he was still strapped in. He added: "These firemen came rushing on to the set and put my hair out." (Judging by the character's hairstyle, we'd say it had it coming, but truly, we're just glad there was enough of it not to cause any serious injury.)

It's certainly clear that Cumming is an actor who is willing to suffer for his art, but it's also got us quite worried that Bond film sets are arguably some of the most dangerous places to be in the movie biz... 

While Daniel Craig has once again been given a license to kill in Bond 25, the actor was so badly beaten during one stunt scene from 2015's Spectre that he ended up having knee surgery.

Craig is also said to have had two of his teeth accidentally knocked out during 2006's Casino Royale, and suffered bruised ribs and a serious face injury that required eight stitches on 2008's Quantum of Solace.

Even Oscar winner Halle Berry was famously injured during the filming of 2002's Die Another Day, when a piece of debris from a smoke grenade flew into her left eye during a stunt scene. 

Come to think of it, we'd say Cumming got out of GoldenEye relatively unscathed in the grand scheme of things.

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