In one of the most tense scenes in 2017 musical drama The Greatest Showman, Hugh Jackman’s character P. T. Barnum runs into a burning building to save lovesick playwright Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron).
It makes for a striking sequence, with flames blazing all around as Barnum rushes an unconscious Phillip to safety, their circus friends looking on with frantic worry.
Of course – spoiler alert – Phillip awakens in hospital beside his trapeze artist sweetheart Anne Wheeler (Zendaya), the story ending on the sort of sweet, uplifting note befitting a musical extravaganza.
But little did fans know at the time that the fire scene could have ended very badly indeed.
TikTok channel Film Fun Facts recently shared an unearthed clip from an old MTV interview with Efron, during which the actor revealed Jackman had actually saved him from the – very real – inferno.
Speaking with MTV’s Josh Horowitz at CinemaCon back in March 2017, Efron recalled:
It started to get late, and some of the pyrotechnics got a little bit too hot. We burst out of the building. It looked great on camera.
We didn’t know it [at the time], but it was pretty intense. I watched playback, and he saved me from a burning building. It later exploded that night. It was a set, but it later burned down.
Apparently more excited than scared by his close brush with danger, Efron reflected:
It was pretty awesome. Hugh Jackman saving you from a burning building? It’s every girl’s dream.
Check it out below:
@film.funfacts Did you know this about #TheGreatestShowman ? #filmfacts #funfacts #hughjackman #zacefron ♬ original sound – Film Fun Facts
Speaking about the scene with MTV News the month before, at the New York premiere of Logan, Jackman joked that Efron was ‘heavier than he looks’.
Those who’ve watched Fun Film Facts’ vid have been left aghast at the thought of how the fun could have so easily turned to disaster. As one person shuddered, ‘if Zac and Hugh were lost in a fire, that would’ve been too much’.
However, others have found the story pretty thrilling, with one person asserting that it was the ‘ultimate flex’ to be saved by Wolverine himself.
Check out more interesting trivia from Fun Film Facts here.
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Film Fun Facts/TikTok