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Radcliffe, 34, and Holmes, 42, bonded in 2000 after Holmes was hired to be his stunt double in the beloved fantasy franchise. However, tragedy struck in 2009 ahead of Deathly Hallows: Part 1’s release and Holmes was left paralyzed from a spinal injury.
The pair’s friendship went beyond the films — and beyond the accident — and now, fans will get to know the man behind Harry Potter’s magical movements in HBO’s David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived.
“The film is a coming-of-age story of stuntman David Holmes, a prodigious teenage gymnast from Essex, England, who is selected to play Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double in the first Harry Potter film, when Daniel is just 11,” the official synopsis reads. “Over the next 10 years, the two form an inextricable bond, but on the penultimate film a tragic accident on set leaves David paralyzed with a debilitating spinal injury, turning his world upside down. As Daniel and his closest stunt colleagues rally to support David and his family in their moment of need, it is David’s extraordinary spirit of resilience that becomes their greatest source of strength and inspiration.”
Scroll down to learn more about Holmes — and his upcoming documentary:
1. Which ‘Harry Potter’ Movies Did David Holmes Star In?
Holmes first appeared as Radcliffe’s double in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Additionally, Holmes played Adrian Pucey in the first film and Slytherin Beater No. 1 in 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
He continued to work alongside Radcliffe doing stunts in the first six Warner Bros. films before getting injured on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Holmes, however, is credited as “Harry Potter stunt double” in both Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2, which were released in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
2. How Did David Holmes Become Paralyzed?
The former gymnast had an accident in January 2009 while on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. During the shoot, Holmes plummeted to the ground after a planned explosion for the stunt went awry, per Deadline. Following the accident, Holmes was diagnosed as a level C6/7 tetraplegic and was paralyzed from the chest down.
3. Did David Holmes Work as a Stunt Double in Other Films?
Some of the England native’s other stunt credits include Greet Street Hooligans, The Last Legion, My Boy Jack, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Doomsday, Prince Persia: The Sands of Time and 2015’s Mortdecai.
4. What Is David Holmes and Daniel Radcliffe’s Podcast About?
Holmes launched the “Cunning Stunts” podcast with Radcliffe in 2020. The business venture falls under Holmes’ Ripple Productions umbrella, which he created in 2013. The podcast features interviews with stunt performers past and present in hopes of shining a light on how risky the job is and raise awareness for the art.
5. Where and When Can You Watch ‘David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived’?
David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived premieres on HBO Wednesday, November 15, at 9 p.m. ET. It will also be available to stream on Max. The project, which is executive produced by Radcliffe and directed by Dan Hartley, will include “candid personal footage shot over the last decade, behind-the-scenes material from Holmes’ stunt work, scenes of his current life and intimate interviews with David, Daniel Radcliffe, friends, family, and former crew,” per HBO. “The film also reflects universal themes of living with adversity, growing up, forging identities in an uncertain world, and the bonds that bind us together and lift us up.”