The Harry Potter movie series is an incredibly successful franchise. The films are still talked about years after their initial release. The new documentary, “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived,” was released on Wednesday, Nov. 15, on Max. It follows David Holmes, Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double in the Harry Potter films, as he lives his day-to-day life after an accident in the rehearsal of the last film that left him paralyzed.
“I never told my story. I never really wanted to. ‘Harry Potter’s’ a big thing for a lot of people, and nobody knows what happened to me. I’ve had such a crazy life. Such highs and such lows. The full range of human emotion. I just thought I’d better tell my story or it won’t be told,” said Holmes in the film.
Growing up, Holmes was always interested in adrenaline-inducing activities. In the documentary, he revealed that he knew that he wanted to be a stunt double from a young age. Fascinating clips of him as a child being an astounding gymnast showed just how high his aspirations to become a stunt double were.
The documentary begins with a series of clips of Holmes engaging in different stunts on the set of “Harry Potter,” from getting hit in the head to falling off a steep roof. Shortly after, it cuts to Radcliffe visiting Holmes at his house. Throughout the film, viewers learn that the two still have an extremely close bond to this day. Radcliffe is not the only person from the “Harry Potter” films to still keep in touch with Holmes; he is still friends with Tolga Kenan, a Harry Potter stunt trainee, and Marc Mailley, a stunt double on the set of “Harry Potter.”
Mailley, Radcliffe and Holmes were shown to be inseparable as they filmed the “Harry Potter” series. However, their last trip together in New York would become one of their last moments doing anything together before the incident that would change Holmes’ life forever.
During the rehearsal of the last film of the series, Holmes’ final stunt involved him being pulled by the waist through a wall for a scene. Initially, Mailley wanted to take over rehearsing the stunt, but Holmes insisted that he wanted to do it. With the clip of the rehearsal ending immediately, viewers find out that a terrible casualty occurred.
“I was a great believer in pressure makes diamonds. The more pressure, the better I was. And honestly, I wasn’t really scared that much. You’re only living when you’re nearly dying,” said Holmes at the beginning of the film.
The rest of the documentary dives into what Holmes’ life turned into as he saw the same four walls of his hospital room every day. Despite these events, Holmes maintained the same cheerful attitude he always had throughout the new challenges. Even now, Holmes’ friend and care assistant Tommy Wells ensures that Holmes continues to live his life to the fullest.
An extremely heart-touching film, “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived,” is a documentary that should be on your list, whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not. Learning about a stunt double’s life is not something you hear about often. Holmes is unique in telling the story of sustaining an injury as a stunt double that impacted the rest of his life. Holmes shows how stunt doubles provide so much value to our most beloved films. The documentary is a reminder that no matter what is going on, trying to keep a positive outlook on life is important.