Dev Patel Says He Broke His Hand While Filming “Monkey Man”: 'My Hand Was Like an Elephant’s Foot'

“I told my producer, ‘Don’t say anything. Let’s just keep filming,’” the 33-year-old actor said

<p>Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty; The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Youtube</p> Dev Patel

Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty; The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Youtube

Dev Patel

Dev Patel is opening up about how he filmed Monkey Man with a broken hand.

During Friday's episode of The Tonight Show, the actor spoke to Jimmy Fallon about his experience co-writing, directing and starring in the film. The 33-year-old detailed the difficulty he had filming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong,” he recalled. “In the first action scene, I’m basically a crash-test dummy and my costar is using my face to break every piece of porcelain in this bathroom,” he recalled. “And my hand, I heard it snap and I was like, ‘This is not good.’”

“You’ve got 450 people on an island and if I go down, the film goes down,” he said. “I told my producer, ‘Don’t say anything. Let’s just keep filming.’ By the end of the day my hand was like an elephant’s foot. We couldn’t afford to put a cast on and VFX it out of this movie.”

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Patel said that the strict quarantine protocols made it hard for the cast to seek medical treatment. However, he was able to sneak onto a private medical jet and visit a doctor in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“The doctor put a screw in my hand and he goes, ‘You cannot put more than a pound or two on this thing. Otherwise it’s like pulling a bent nail out of wood. You will ruin your bone,’” the Slumdog Millionaire star said. “I went back to set the next day and was throwing myself and bouncing off a window.”

Patel told Fallon that after wrapping up the film, the crew got his X-ray made into a t-shirt. The shirt has a picture of his X-rayed hand on the sleeve, a COVID bubble on the front and a cartoon picture of a monkey on the back as a nod to the film.

“They call it ‘The one screw that kept this production alive,’” Patel quipped.

Related: Dev Patel Cries After His Directorial Debut Monkey Man Gets Rousing Standing Ovation at SXSW World Premiere

<p>Roger Kisby/Getty Images for Universal Pictures</p> Dev Patel

Roger Kisby/Getty Images for Universal Pictures

Dev Patel

Monkey Man stars the Oscar-nominated actor as a man named Kid "who ekes out a meager living in an underground fight club where, night after night, wearing a gorilla mask, he is beaten bloody by more popular fighters for cash," according to Universal Pictures' official synopsis for the movie. Kid ultimately seeks out revenge against a group of men who left him with childhood trauma, according to the synopsis.

After receiving a standing ovation at the film’s premiere at SXSW earlier this month, Patel told PEOPLE, "There are so many times we almost faced absolute catastrophe with this film, and for Universal to see it, have that response, Jordan [Peele], to see it, pick it up off the floor, brush the dust off it and put it on the mantelpiece again, is a huge thing."

"I put my everything into it, and I hope the world responds to it," Patel told PEOPLE.

Monkey Man will premiere in theaters on April 5.

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