In the movie Mid90s (2018), following an argument with his brother Stevie briefly strangles himself by wrapping a game-pad cord around his neck and pulling it tight.

Stevie is played by Sunny Suljic who was probably 12 at the time of filming. In the scene he pulls the cord really tight and even though it only lasts a few seconds it's a really arresting moment in the film.

Stevie is topless at this moment so I don't think there is any fakery going on, so my question is: How was this filmed? How is a 12 year old child allowed to strangle themselves for a movie? What precautions would the production take in this famously litigious country and in an industry where minors are heavily protected?

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    "How is a 12 year old child allowed to strangle themselves for a movie?" Because it isn't real and he never was in any danger etc.?
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 15:26
  • @BCdotWEB How hard could a 12 year old child pull on a cord? Obviously if he hypothetically pulled hard enough to choke himself and black out, the members of the film crew could quickly take the cord off and give him CPR. But what about the possibility of damaging his laranx and maybe changing his voice and damaging his ability to get future roles? It seems to me that there is some possibility of injury in the scene as described. Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 17:34
  • @M.A.Golding That's why film shoots have experts, e.g. stunt coordinators etc. Also, Sunny Suljic is an experienced child actor, not some kid who walked in from the street. That cable might have been rigged with a fail-safe. Movies are make-believe and what you see on-screen is not what actually happened. The basic assumption of this question ignores all of this.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 15:37
  • @BCdotWEB the basic premise of the question is that movies are make believe - how did they make us believe that he strangled himself with the cord, or, if he really did it, what precautions did they take, what would the stunt coordinator's advice be, what actually happened on set?
    – Mr_Thyroid
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 17:46
  • @Mr_Thyroid If the question assumes that movies are make-believe, then why do you ask "How is a 12 year old child allowed to strangle themselves for a movie?": the very premise of this question is that he was in any danger.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


These types of stunts are probably the safest type to perform, because the actor has full control of the stunt. Pull the chord as tight as you can without hurting yourself, act like you're hurting yourself more than you are. Actors do all types of stunts and put themselves in all types of positions, and good actors can make these stunts look believable.

I watch H&I TV every morning, and they play reruns of classics Western TV shows like Wanted: Dead or Alive and Have Gun Will Travel. And when people get shot in those shows, it's so overacted; they wiggle, lock up, let out a final gasp and go fully limp. It's laughable by today's standards. A good actor will make that death look believable. Or make that stunt look real. That's their job, it's what they get paid to do.

  • Not sure why somebody would have downvoted this answer
    – Angesehen
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 12:36

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