Taylor Hickson’s breakthrough came when the Canadian actress was cast in a small role in the superhero film “Deadpool” and filmed a scene with its star, Ryan Reynolds. After the superhero movie shattered box office records in 2016, Hickson was working on her next project: a horror flick titled “Ghostland.”
But because of a gruesome on-set injury suffered when she was 19, she says her career has stalled. Hickson recently filed a lawsuit against the movie’s production company, Incident Productions in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where “Ghostland” was filmed.
Incident Productions declined to comment on the suit when asked by the CBC.
The accident occurred on Dec. 15, 2016, according to the lawsuit, which Deadline obtained. Hickson was shooting “an emotionally charged scene” in which her character balled her hands into fists and desperately pounded on a pane of glass.
Generally, productions use safety glass for such scenes. It is designed not to splinter into dangerous shards if it breaks. But the “Ghostland” production used regular glass, the lawsuit states.
The movie’s writer and director Pascal Laugier asked Hickson to “pound harder on the glass with her fists” with each take, according to the lawsuit. He assured the young actress that it was safe to do so.
Hickson did as she was directed. Eventually, her fists shattered the glass, and she fell. Shards of glass dug deeply into her face, slicing open her left cheek, the lawsuit states.
“The crafts services lady held my face together with napkins in her hands,” Hickson told Deadline. “She went through so many napkins, there was so much blood.”
Hickson was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she received 70 stitches to the gash that stretched from her chin almost to her left ear.
“She has since undergone treatment including laser treatment and silicone treatment, but over one year post-incident, has been left with permanent scarring on the left side of her face,” the suit states. “It is unknown at this time if any further treatment, including plastic surgery, would reduce the visual appearance of the injury.”
She says that she lost income as she recovered from the injury. Worse yet, she said that she has had trouble finding work because of her facial scarring.
“Even right after the accident she was a very cheerful young woman but I certainly know she’s very much worried about her future in the acting business,” Rob Macklin, a spokesman for the Manitoba chapter of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, told CBC. “An accident like this is very scary to a young up-and-coming actress, there’s just no question about it.”
Macklin said ACTRA has also filed a grievance against Incident Productions.
In the lawsuit, Hickson claims that the production company either knew or should have known “of the dangerous situation it had” placed her in.
Incident Productions “fell below the legal standard of care that is expected of a production company,” Jason Harvey, one of Hickson’s lawyers, said in an email to the HuffPost. “We believe that this incident was easily preventable and, unfortunately, resulted in significant injuries to Taylor.”
“Ghostland” is set to premiere in Paris on Wednesday, but Hickson said she will not be attending.
“I never worked so hard on a production in my life, and now it’s a bittersweet way to end this piece of art that we worked so hard on,” she told Deadline.
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