Celebrated moviemaker Warner Herzog once bet a cast of "midgets" he would jump into a cactus if the little stars made it to the end of the film unscathed.
The German director had to live up to his word when his stars completed the film - without serious injury.
He tells Esquire magazine, "I was shooting a film with an entire cast of midgets, and one caught fire and was run over by a car. He was completely unhurt.
"I was so astonished, I told the cast that if they all escaped filming unscathed, I would jump into a cactus for their amusement. And they did, so I jumped into a cactus."
Based on a true story, Invincible chronicles Zishe Breitbart's (Jouka Ahola) journey from a young, Jewish blacksmith of great strength to the renowned "strongest man in the world" in a Berlin nightclub just before the Nazis come to power. Zishe gets his start after he beats the strongman in the circus and an agent offers to find him work in Berlin as strongman. Initially resistant, Zishe ventures to Berlin on the belief that God has something in mind for him, leaving behind his family, including his favorite brother Benjamin (Jacob Wein), the most intelligent nine-year-old his East Poland town has ever seen. In Berlin, Zishe gets a position immediately in a nightclub run by a con man -- clairvoyant Erik Jan Hanussen (Tim Roth) -- playing the historic German hero Siegfried in the club's variety show. At first, Zishe is too overwhelmed and intimidated to see the what is happening to the Jews (then again, who wasn't?), but, after Zishe's mother and brother Benjamin come for a visit, Zishe reveals himself as a Polish Jew to a room full of Nazis and the precarious balance is tipped.
Continue reading: Invincible (2001) Review