In Stephen Gaghan’s 2005 thriller “Syriana,” George Clooney plays Bob Barnes, a CIA agent who sent to the Middle East to oversee the assassination of underground arms dealers. The globe-spanning film was shot in multiple countries, including Egypt, Morocco, and the UAE, and it’s an action-packed affair full of explosions, gunfights, and double-crossing backstabbers. “Syriana” ultimately netted Clooney an Oscar for best supporting actor.
However, his Academy Award isn’t the only lasting effect from Clooney’s “Syriana” experience. According to a profile in The Hollywood Reporter, Clooney contends with chronic pain brought on by an accident on the set. Apparently, a couple of days before the shoot ended, the “Ticket to Paradise” star was filming the sequence in which his character is tied to a chair. He toppled over and hit his head. “I thought I’d had a stroke,” he recalled. “It was like a train horn going off in your head and you can’t see and you can’t stand. After flying back to Los Angeles, he checked himself into Cedars Sinai and underwent extensive testing. Ultimately, doctors discovered that he had torn his spinal column.
Clooney told the outlet that his suffering was so severe that he considered ending his life. Thankfully, the pain has gotten easier to handle with time. “I’ve gone from where I can’t function, where ‘I just can’t live like this,’ to ‘I’ve got a bad headache,'” Clooney reflected. Ultimately, he concluded, ” … I’m scrappy.”