Being an actor is a dangerous business. Just ask Rose McGowan, who stars in the Conan the Barbarian reboot that opens Aug. 19. It’s her first film in years, despite the fact that at Comic-Con 2008 she was touted as the star of Simon West’s planned 2009 return to the Red Sonja tale. That one went by the wayside when McGowan trashed herself on the set of Planet Terror.
“Look at my elbow,” she said at the L.A. press junket for Conan. “I’ve had three surgeries on it and have had part of it taken out. That was from a stunt gone wrong, where I did a handspring backwards. So, during the course of that year it became basically paralyzed except for half of two of my fingers. After three surgeries with massive nerve damage and the bone being taken out and a year of rehab, they’re like, ‘You could go do a sword movie, but we can’t do anything more with your arm if you hurt it.’ As dope as it would’ve been, I would really rather not go through life with one arm that’s paralyzed and in constant pain.”
And that’s not even the end of it. When McGowan was finally ready to return to the job, she got injured yet again. She made it through Conan unscathed, but not for long.
“I have two torn ligaments in my ankle from Rosewood Lane, the Victor Salva movie I just did. I have a rotator cuff tear from a movie that I did in Romania. A torn back from a movie that I did about the IRA in Belfast. My right leg is the only uninjured part. Then the other day, well, six weeks ago, I put my hand through a window by accident and hit an artery. I’m a hot mess.”
But apparently McGowan just can’t help herself. She’s scheduled to star in Clark Johnson’s film Fortune and is rumored to be the lead in Killer Films’ planned adaptation of The Bell Jar. But the 37-year-old thesp said she may decide to protect herself from the dangers of moviemaking at some point soon.
“I still want to be a forensic pathologist,” she admitted.