By Nick Romano
December 06, 2019 at 08:51 AM EST
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That line in The Aeronauts, “Women don’t belong in balloons,” should be changed to, “Eddie Redmayne doesn’t belong in balloons.”

Case in point: the Oscar winner regaled Stephen Colbert on The Late Show this week with a story from the set, the one where he and costar Felicity Jones crashed their gas balloon.

The Aeronauts, directed by Tom Harper, stars Redmayne as meteorologist James Glaisher, who teams up with balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Jones) on a voyage to track weather patterns. Though a lot of the film was green-screened, an actual gas balloon was utilized on set for some of the sequences.

“As you come to land, you pull on a rope that allows the gas out of the top of the balloon and gradually you start coming down, but you can’t completely control it,” he said. When this happened to the film’s two lead stars on the very first day of shooting, they found themselves “hurtling” straight towards trees. On what they thought were instructions from the pilot, the actors “start furiously throwing out these [sand]bags, which meant that the thing rose a bit and we missed the trees.”

“We looked at the actual pilot, every ounce of blood had gone from his face and he was just looking totally terrified,” Redmayne continued. That’s because they lost all the bags, so when they needed to land moments later, they couldn’t control the balloon.

“At that moment, we crunched into the trees 20 meters in the air, came hurtling down to the ground, smashed down onto the ground, and Felicity’s head smacked back against this chest and there was just silence… I heard Felicity go, ‘I don’t think I can move my neck,'” Redmayne recalled. He did clarify that “No Felicitys were hurt in the making of this movie.”

Ballooning is not for everyone.

Related content:

The Aeronauts

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