Prison Break star Dominic Purcell on Saturday night made his first public appearance since he was seriously hurt in an accident on the set of the new event-series installment of the Fox drama in Morocco on May 30. Deadline spoke with the Aussie actor at the party for the US launch of Bausele — the Australia’s first luxury watch company — for which he’s the Global Ambassador. Purcell, who was joined tonight by his girlfriend, actress AnnaLynne McCord, suffered a broken nose and head injury when a set piece was dislodged and an iron bar fell on his head. Twelve days later, Purcell sported two deep gashes on the top of his head, the larger of which required 150 stitches.
He also received 20 stitches on his left elbow, stitches for his broken nose and near his left eyebrow and had minor cuts on his arms that are healing. But less than two weeks after the accident, Purcell is back in fighting form, telling Deadline that he will resume filming Prison Break on Monday. After a location shoot in Morocco, which doubles for civil war-torn Yemen, where the breaking-out-of-prison action is set, production is returning to Vancouver next week. Purcell recounts the grisly accident — he thought he was going to die — and its aftermath, including the search for medical help in rural Morocco. He also shares details about the plot of the anticipated 9-episode Prison Break revival, from series creator Paul Scheuring, reveals whether the accident will be written into the show and if the mishap cost Purcell’s character Lincoln any scenes.
DEADLINE: How are you feeling?
PURCELL: Physically, I’m fine. The accident was shocking, more than anything else. I mean, it was a scene where I was running into the prison, and I felt this extraordinary explosion on my head that I’d never experienced. It wasn’t like someone was slowly cutting my arm kind of pain; it was this sudden explosion. I dropped to my knees, and I was in shock. It was like, what the f**k has just happened to me? And then I’m just leaning over and the blood is just pouring out like a shower, and my stunt guy came up beside me, and I looked at him and said, “Dude, what the f**k’s going on? What happened?” And he said, “Your head’s split right open, I can see your skull, your nose is on the other side of your face. I kind of just sat there for a moment in shock. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this — I expected that I was either going to black out or die, because in my brain, when he said my skull was showing, I just assumed that my skull was cracked, and blood was going to go into my brain, and I was going to f**king die in Morocco. I thought I was going to die…
But after about three or four minutes, nothing happened. I didn’t have any concussion, didn’t have any symptoms at all, and I just stood up and said, “All right. Get me to a hospital.” The first hospital or clinic was closed; we’re in Ouarzazate (Morocco) — where American Sniper, andBlack Hawk Down, and all these great films were made — which is in the middle of nowhere. The medical infrastructure isn’t the best, and they took me to another hospital. I walked in and there were cats walking in the hospital. Again, I was in shock, still, and I walked into this little surgery place, and a whole bunch of doctors were just arguing over who was gonna work on me, and there were blood stains on the sheet. I sat there and looked at everyone, and I just calmly got off this operating table and walked out of the hospital. And that’s when my girl, AnnaLynne, she just took control, poured alcohol on my head, and wrapped me up in gauze, and then Fox got a helicopter and they flew me out from Ouarzazate to Casablanca. Everything just lined up because this doctor—Doctor Bensouda—he is one of the best plastic surgeons there (in Casablanca), and also has clinics around the world. He looked at me and said, “Oh, wow! Lucky.” And then he put me under anesthetic, straightened my nose—re-broke it to straighten it again—and he said I have extra layers of skin around my skull, which actually prevented the fatal blow.
So physically, I’m one hundred percent. You wouldn’t believe it—you saw the pictures—I’m good to go. I actually start filming Prison Break on Monday.