Three weeks ago, the 46-year-old actor suffered a gruesome injury on the set of Fox’s Prison Break revival, when an iron bar dislodged and fell on his head. A few days after the accident, Purcell shared photos of his bloodied face, which required more than 100 stitches, and a heavily bandaged nose, which was broken in multiple places.
“I have a real gash here because my nose was broken in two places and the scar here, that’s where the white of my skull was showing,” Purcell told ET during an exclusive visit to the Vancouver set, detailing the aftermath of his injuries.
Purcell, who reprises his role as Lincoln Burrows in the anticipated series, revealed how the on-set accident went went down, and it’s as terrifying as it seemed. The Aussie actor said he was in the middle of an action sequence that involved saving his TV brother, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), when the mishap occurred.
“I was running into a prison to get my brother out, of course, and I just felt this extraordinary explosion on my head and I didn’t get knocked out,” Purcell shared. “I just took a knee and blood was just pouring. My stunt guy came up to me and I looked at him and I said, ‘What’s going on?’”
“He looked as white as a ghost and he said, ‘Here’s the thing, your head’s cut open and I can see your skull and your nose is smashed on the other side of [your] face,’” he recalled the stuntman telling him.
Purcell said he had a moment of calm in the immediate moments afterward, though it was due in part to shock over what had just happened.
“I just sat there really calmly. Really, it was weird. I wasn’t panicked; obviously I was in shock,” he said. “And then I kind of thought, ‘Maybe I’m going to die in Morocco.’ Then, after about four or five minutes, I said, ‘Take me to the hospital.’”
Thankfully, Purcell had his longtime girlfriend, 90210 alum AnnaLynne McCord, by his side.
“She basically took charge of the whole situation. She went into raging mama mode and poured whiskey on my head because that’s all we had at the time and wrapped my head in gauze,” he said. “Yeah, it was pretty gnarly.”
Also on hand, top Moroccan plastic surgeon, Dr. Bensouda, who quickly repaired Purcell’s injuries.
Purcell was back in action soon after the accident, amazingly, with only some minor scars and one crazy story to show for it.
“I have more layers of skin than the average person around my skull and because of my build, I didn’t snap my neck,” Purcell said. “I was lucky on all fronts.”
“When it happened, it was like, ‘Wow.’ One minute you can be here and the next you may not and that was a shock more than anything else,” he added. “It was one of those things where I dodged a bullet.”
For more on Purcell’s exclusive on-set interview in Vancouver, tune in to Tuesday’s Entertainment Tonight. Check your local listings.
Prison Break will air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox in Spring 2017.