Actor Derek Hedlund, who stars as Special Agent J.T. on the CBS crime drama FBI, said he almost lost his leg after he was cut by a crab. The horrific real-life accident happened back in July when he was helping a friend move a jet ski in Red Bank, New Jersey. Thankfully, he survived the incident and still has his leg.
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Page Six caught up with Hedlund while he was filming new episodes of FBI. He said a crab clawed at his foot, causing a tiny cut. The water he was wading into while helping a friend was infected with "flesh-eating bacteria" called Vibrio, which caused his foot to swell up instantly.
"You see this line on your leg? That is the [vibriosis] spreading up your leg. You can literally see it," a doctor told Hedlund, the actor said.
Doctors told him if the bacteria continued spreading up his leg, it would have to be amputated to save his life. Coincidentally, he later got a call to return to FBI for Season 2 and, since he did not want to lose the job, he left the hospital "against medical advice" just to attend a wardrobe fitting. He arrived on set with crutches.
Unfortunately, the first episode of Season 2 featured Hedlund's character chasing terrorists through Central Park. The shooting was painful, but "I did what I needed to do, and I'm still alive," he told Page Six.
Back on Aug. 3, Hedlund shared a photo of himself on crutches in full J.T. costume.
"When [FBI] calls I answer! Even if I cant walk!" Hedlund wrote on Instagram. "Wait until you see what Agent JT had to do for this episode even though he showed up in Crutches! Dedication [laughing out loud]. Catch me in our Season Two Premiere this September 24th on CBS! No breaks for the FBI!"
Hedlund's recurring role as J.T. is his biggest role to date, following parts in Blue Bloods, Unforgettable and CSI: NY. He also played a police officer on For Life, the new ABC series executive produced by 50 Cent.
FBI launched in 2018 and is now in its second season. The New York-based drama also stars Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki, Jeremy Sisto, Ebonee Noel, Alana de la Garza and John Boyd. It was created by Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf with Craig Turk. The show already earned a spin-off, FBI: Most Wanted, starring Kellan Lutz, Julian McMahon, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Roxy Sternberg and Nathaniel Arcand.
"Everybody knows the bad stuff already — everybody sees the headlines and understands the fear and relates to this maybe happening to them or a loved one one day," Peregrym recently told Variety. "Nobody wants to have a show that's just a horror show the whole episode and we're like, 'Have a great sleep!' We want to do something that says, 'OK yes this is happening, but look at all of these people who are working so hard to protect you.' That's the truth about what's going on in America right now, and our intention is to show the reality…and give Americans something to really believe in."
FBI airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS, with FBI: Most Wanted following at 10 p.m. ET.
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