Neil Nitin Mukesh was shooting an action sequence in New Zealand for Abbas-Mustan’s Players, when a metal pipe weighing 20 kg that was tied to the wall the actor was scaling, fell on his little finger as he crashed to the ground.
Since Neil was covered in fake blood, he didn’t realise he had smashed his finger till his make-up man washed off his make-up. That’s when the actor noticed the deep cut and swelling.
Since it was the last day of the shoot for the Hindi remake of The Italian Job, in a foreign country, Neil didn’t want to disrupt the schedule.
“So I got some ice cubes, and using an ice-cream stick as a splint, I got the paramedic to tape it to my finger so I wouldn’t bend it subconsciously. I continued shooting for the next eight hours. It was painful, but I managed with camera cheating and zooming in on my left hand instead of the injured right one,” he reminisces.
Late in the night, after packing-up, Neil was rushed to a hospital in his blood-splattered costume and bruises still painted on him."My appearance was alarming enough for them to wheel me straight into the operation theatre on a stretcher and the doctor who’d left for home was called back," he chuckles.
When the X-ray revealed that he had only four fractures on his little finger, the doctor on duty was taken aback. When questioned about my bloody clothes and fake injuries, Neil admitted that he was an actor from India who’d been shooting a Bollywood movie there.
“I was reprimanded and told I couldn’t walk into the hospital looking like that, but they did plaster me up and send me back home in one piece,” he smiles.
The finger was in a plaster for four months and even now, post many physiotherapy sessions, Neil is still unable to fold his fingers
into a punch.
“The flexibility and strength is coming back slowly,” he shrugs nonchalantly. “I’m happy I can play the piano at least.” Players is due to release some time next year.