Neve Campbell was attacked by a bear at 17 on a movie set


Neve Campbell appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Wednesday to promote Scream. As a quick sidenote: Kaiser called it, Kelly is finding her footing as an interviewer. Her show is much improved this season. I’m glad because I love Kelly. Anyway, back to Neve – this story is bananas. Neve was attacked by a bear. I saw the headline and thought that maybe she was in a cage or car or something that felt threatening but wasn’t. But no, she was dragged into the woods by a bear! What’s worse was she was put in the bear’s path by her own film team. While filming in Canada when she was only 17, a trainer told her to dip her hand in honey and run… and then they let a bear chase her. Okay, it was a little more orchestrated than that, but it went awry, and almost cost us Neve. I posted the clip of Neve telling the story below, but I am using Yahoo’s translation because they already did the work and I’m lazy today.

During Wednesday’s episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” actor Neve Campbell recalled a scary on-set incident where she was attacked by a bear while working on a movie in Canada.

“I was 17 years old and I was playing this role where she’s one with the animals,” Campbell explained.

“That’s ironic,” Clarkson joked, laughing, as Campbell continued.
“Yeah,” Campbell said. “And there was a scene where I’m supposed to be getting chased by a bear, the only animal I’m not one with in the movie, and they brought this bear on set.”

“They first gave me a big bottle of Coke to feed it,” she said before clarifying that it was Coca-Cola. “So now this is like a bear on a sugar rush. And then they said — and I’m 17, so I’m really dumb. They say ‘Dip your hand in honey and just run and when you get to the tree over there, turn around and stick your hand out, and feed the bear.’ And I, of course, wanting to please everyone was like, ‘OK.'”

However, when Campbell did what she was told, she realized that the bear had its own agenda.

“I turn around, and I put my hand out, and the bear is not slowing down,” she said. “He’s not coming for my hand and he grabs me by the leg, and he pulls me through the forest. And my mother happens to be visiting the set so she’s screaming, the whole crew is frozen because no one can believe what’s happening.”

Campbell said that she started yelling that the bear was biting her, just in case nobody understood what was going on.

“Then finally, the bear wrangler starts throwing rocks at the bear to get it off me and it finally gets pissed off and turns around and goes after him and I run and go up a rock,” Campbell said.

[From Yahoo]

I’ve mentioned before that I have a brother who lives in Alaska. There’s a reason any movie about Alaska always features a bear attack. And when you visit people in Alaska, they talk to you very honestly about bear attacks so that you do nothing to put yourself in the path of a bear. In short: I am terrified of bear attacks. If this trained movie bear had grabbed my foot, I’d have passed out before my head hit the dirt. I honestly don’t know if I could’ve recounted the story as whimsically as Neve did. And I am p*ssed off on her behalf that the crew simply froze. If there is an apex predator on the set, I don’t care how trained they are, everyone should be ready for that thing to attack at all times. Could you imagine what her poor mother went through? And all Neve can hear is her mother screaming because the whole crew is frozen in panic. Well, her mother screaming and the bear putting bbq sauce on her foot.

Neve said that after they got her and the bear to safety, they said they were not doing that again. But because she was 1) young and 2) still such a people pleaser, she fought them on the decision. She argued that it had only been a rehearsal and they needed it on film. I have no idea who won out in the end. I guess it was whoever’s side the bear was on. But Neve recognizes she would have done everything in that scenario differently now. Kelly was funny because she said she wouldn’t have done it in the first place, “Oh my God actors are so different from musicians. Like I can’t express this enough. Literally if I was in a music video and that went down… I would be like bye ladies and gentlemen. CGI, get my stunt double in.”

Here’s the clip. It’s much funnier hearing them tell it:



Photo credit: Avalon Red and YouTube

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7 Responses to “Neve Campbell was attacked by a bear at 17 on a movie set”

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  1. lemontwist says:

    Wow. Is there a more dangerous way to interact with a bear than being slathered in honey and trying to RUN? I can’t believe a production okayed putting a 17-yr old girl in that situation, oh wait yes I can.

    • Roop says:

      This is horrifying!! Poor Neve. I can’t believe she kept up acting after this. I’m guessing this was a non-unionized production, because the crew/directors/production would have been in serious shit from the actor’s union.

      Her poor mother….

      My child is a working actor and stories like this scare the shit out of me. I’ve never seen anything terrible or unsafe on set, but it happens. So I am *always* there with her. I don’t trust anyone.

  2. Ninks says:

    I can’t believe she’s waited this long to tell that story. If I was attacked by a bear and lived to tell the tale, I’d brag about it forever.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      she was probably afraid to tell the story in public lest she be branded as being a “difficult actress”

  3. AmelieOriginal says:

    Omg what!! Listen I stared a bear in the face while out hiking in the Tetons last summer with a friend. It was our first hike of the trip and of course we had no bearspray on us at the time. It literally came out of nowhere on the side of the mountain bearing right down on us on the path, we probably got within ten feet of it. I immediately reacted and was like OMG a bear!!! And we both high tailed it back down the path about twenty feet where we came from (btw you aren’t supposed to run which we did which was stupid!!). It was luckily a young bear and not full grown and completely disinterested in us, it was moseying on up eating the bushes around it and looked at us kind of like okay nothing to see here I will continue to eat the yummy plants. We had joined the hikers behind us so we all watched it together. My biggest fear was that Mama was somewhere nearby as it was a juvenile but we never saw Mom. While the encounter was “cool” and nonviolent, it took a good hour for the adrenaline to wear off and for my heart to stop hammering. All other encounters with wildlife took place from a safe distance the rest of the trip and we made sure to carry bearspray for all other hikes after that!

  4. Kristen says:

    Bears on film sets have usually been in the lifelong care of an established caregiver and there are rarely problems. This sounds like the film studio cut some corners and just found someone who had a pet bear? Idk exactly but the wrangler sounds totally unprofessional.

  5. SK2 says:

    Feeding a bear Coca Cola?!! Insane