Talent Management are loving the fact that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have made a return in the third instalment of Men In Black. So much so that we’re not surprised MiB 3 has become the biggest grossing film in the series yet. But it seems not everyone is a fan – meet the model who broke her back for Men in Black. Excuse the rhyme.
Talent Management is loving the fact that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have made a return in the third instalment of Men in Black. So much so that we’re not surprised MiB 3 has become the biggest grossing film in the series yet. But it seems not everyone is a fan – meet the model who broke her back for Men in Black. Excuse the rhyme.
Danika Gerner, a 23-year-old model from Brooklyn, bagged herself the role of an alien from the planet Glamoura in the sci-fi comedy, but came across difficulties when it came to her costume. While models are often taught not to complain about the clothes they’re put in, Gerner’s experience is a whole different story, and we don’t blame her for speaking up.
During filming last year, the model was fitted with a 30-pound dress made from sheet-metal, much like a giant suit of armour, held up with only two metal bands fastened with Velcro – couple that with the fact that she had to balance on excruciatingly tall 6-inch heels under hot lights, and the rest of the story comes as no shock.
Having to wear the outfit 9 hours out of a 12-hour filming shift, 5 days in a row, unsurprisingly the 6’2” model has claimed that wearing this painful sounding get-up has left her with a herniated disc and nerve damage, putting the stops on a promising future behind in the lens.
Previous to taking the MiB 3 role, Gerner seemed to have a very successful modelling career, having modelled for magazines including Allure and Glamour, and beauty products such as Olay. The tall stunner even had bit parts in Ugly Betty and Sex and the City 2 before she damaged her back.
“I had to give up everything,” the model told The Post. “I complained about my back hurting and asked the wardrobe people if I could take the costume off between takes. They kept saying, ‘No, not yet, because you’re in the background of every shot.’”
When filming was finally over, Gerner said she was in too much pain to take on any further jobs assigned by her modelling agency. Within a month she was taken off the agency’s books and was sent an email reading: “It doesn’t seem to be working out. Best of luck in your future endeavours.”
Having undergone an MRI, doctors confirmed a large herniated disc pressing on her nerve. The model had to have part of her vertebral bone removed, leaving her paying off $30,000 for surgery and treatment. “This wasn’t an instantaneous break,” said one of her lawyers, Tim Yusuf. “This actress’ back was broken slowly, with constant pressure, over the course of a week.”
The model is now suing Columbia Pictures and Amblin Entertainment for unspecified damages. “There are too many examples of Hollywood taking advantage of young, enthusiastic actors like Danika,” said another lawyer Arkady Frekhtman. “They work gruelling hours for little pay. They should not have to compromise their safety as well.”
Talent Management wants to know your thoughts on this shocking story – is the model within her rights to sue or should she have walked away from the job when she realised her outfit may cause damage?