Norton says he broke 3 vertebrae on 'Veil' set


WASHINGTON -- Edward Norton says he broke three vertebrae during a horse riding accident on the set of his new romantic drama, "The Painted Veil."

Norton said a horse threw him off while he was galloping before filming a scene for the movie, directed by John Curran, which was shot entirely in China.

"One of those horses chucked me off pretty badly," the 37-year-old actor told AP Radio News in a recent interview. "I broke my spine in like three places. I broke my back. I broke three vertebrae in my back."

"I felt like my back was horribly wrenched but I sort of assumed I was OK, and I didn't actually find out I had broken it until I went to Hong Kong," he said. "I cracked my 10th, 11th and especially my 12th thoracic vertebrae."

Norton, who received Oscar nominations for "American History X" and "Primal Fear" and starred opposite Brad Pitt in 1999's "Fight Club," is fine now. Rest, massages and swimming helped him recover.

Though he generally keeps a low profile, Norton said he was recognized while walking through an animal market on the border between China and Tibet.

"I saw this kid walk by me but then he disappeared and then like five minutes later I felt him creeping up, and he looked at me for a long time and he went 'Fight Club'? It tickled me that somewhere way out there, there was this kid who loved 'Fight Club,' " Norton said.

"The Painted Veil," also starring Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Toby Jones, was set to open in limited release Friday. Norton and Watts were producers on the film, a Warner Independent release. Warner Independent is a unit of Time Warner, as is CNN.

Watts plays a woman unhappily married to a bacteriologist (Norton) who uproots them to a remote plague-ridden town after learning of her affair with another man (Schreiber). The movie is set in 1920s China.