The actor surprised his co-stars and director Richard Donner with his emotional performance as the suicidal sergeant, and several of the crew wept during a scene where Riggs contemplated shooting himself following the death of his wife.
Donner tells Total Film magazine, “The camera was shaking because I’m crying, the operator’s crying. And I start to get worried about Mel. (He) hit (himself) with (the gun)! And this was after the take was over.”