Losing A Tooth Mid-Scene Didn't Slow Viggo Mortensen Down During The Lord Of The Rings

[Runs in breathlessly while you're watching "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" at home] Did you know Viggo Mortensen broke his toes in the scene where Aragorn kicks a helmet across the ground?!!

Okay, yes, this is likely a piece of trivia that anyone who's even remotely into Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" films has absorbed by now. Still, Mortensen was far from the only actor to suffer a nasty injury during production on Jackson's Tolkien adaptation. Sean Astin sliced his foot; Orlando Bloom broke a rib falling off his horse; Brett Beattie, who served as John Rhys-Davies' stand-in, dislocated his knee. Most horrifically of all, Dominic Monaghan got a tiny splinter in his foot while shooting the Bucklebury Ferry scene for "The Fellowship of the Ring." Who knew making a sweeping $300 million fantasy war epic on-location in New Zealand could be so treacherous?

Out of all the "Lord of the Rings" actors, Mortensen might've had it the worst so far as his total injuries and near-death scares go. Besides breaking his toes, he almost drowned while shooting a scene where an unconscious Aragorn floats down a river in "The Two Towers" and risked getting blown up by a hidden artillery shell when he improvised during filming on the climax to "The Return of the King."

Then there was the time Mortensen broke a tooth in the middle of shooting an action scene for "The Two Towers," only to try and shake it off as though it were no big deal. Let's dig into that a bit, shall we?

'Viggo was a real trooper'

Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" movies are full of intense battle scenes, with swords clashing, arrows whizzing, axes swinging, and who knows how many stunt performers dressed as Orcs, Goblins, and Uruk-hai getting slashed to ribbons by the films' heroes. In an interview with Christian Answers right before "The Two Towers" hit theaters in 2002, Jackson talked about Mortensen's commitment to performing as much of Aragorn's fight scenes as he could:

"Viggo was a real trooper. He just became like the team leader. He worked really well with all the stunt guys. There were some stunt guy that I think Viggo ultimately killed them like 27 times during the course of the battle. They got along really well with each other."

Jackson said this was all the more true when it came to the most complicated action sequence in "The Two Towers" and one of the toughest to film in the entire trilogy: The Battle of Helm's Deep. "[Mortensen] just worked ceaselessly in making that the scene that it was," said Jackson. This was also when Mortensen suffered a terrifying blow to the face:

"One of the things that happened with Viggo in [the Helm's Deep sequence] was there was a moment when one of the Orc swords whacked him in the face. Hit him in the mouth. And his front tooth snapped off at the root. Like literally broke in half and fell on the floor!"

Did that slow down Aragorn, son of Arathorn? Hardly. According to Jackson, "[Mortsensen] immediately snatched [his tooth] up and said 'Get me some super glue! We've got to stick this back in and carry on.' He was yelling out for glue!" Thankfully, though, cooler heads prevailed, and the actor was rushed to receive emergency dental care instead.