Actor Emilio Estevez revealed that he nearly died in a tragic accident when he was a teenager, but was saved in the nick of time by actor Laurence Fishburne.
Estevez, 60, is known for his work in films like The Breakfast Club and The Mighty Ducks… his life was almost cut short from drowning in quicksand.
The actor revealed the story on The Jennifer Hudson Show. Estevez was on the set of the classic war film Apocalypse Now when he was 14, spending time with his father Martin Sheen, who starred in the film.
While on the set in the Philippines, Estevez formed a bond with actor Laurence Fishburne, who was also just 14 at the time. (Fishburne lied about his age to land his role in the film — production took so long he was 18 when the film premiered.)
Estevez says that after a few days of knowing each other, they decided to take a boat out — but the trip soon turned into a disaster.
“We were out on this boat together, and we started getting too close to the shore, and I said, ‘Well, let me jump out, I’ll push us offshore,’” Estevez told Jennifer Hudson. “I jumped out, and it was like quicksand mud.”
Estevez started sinking in the quicksand — but thankfully Fishburne saved his life.
“I was just sinking, and I just saw Fishburne just looking at me going, ‘Grab my hand!’ and he pulled me back onto the boat. We were bonded ever since.”
Both Estevez and Fishburne went on to great success as actors: Fishburne, now 61, is known for his roles in The Matrix, Boys N the Hood and the John Wick movies.
Martin Sheen only found out about the near-death incident many years later after reading about it in Estevez’ memoir; he called Fishburne to thank him for saving his son’s life that day.
While Apocalypse Now is now regarded as one of the best films of all time, it had one of the most infamously disastrous film shoots in Hollywood history.
Shooting in the Philippines caused a number of weather-related problems and delays. Director Francis Ford Coppola suffered a heart attack and Martin Sheen was also hospitalized due to a health scare.
But we’re glad this tragedy was averted, and Estevez and Fishburne remain close decades later.
What an incredible story! We’re glad Emilio Estevez was saved that day — thank you to Laurence Fishburne for saving him!
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