Tom Cruise has always been a daredevil. Unfortunately, he has become the epitome of dangerous stunts in action movies because he doesn’t use a stunt double.
The 60-year-old actor has taken his stunt performances a notch higher for the upcoming Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. He says he trained for a whole year to perfect one of the scenes in this movie. A featurette for the upcoming film shows him performing a motorcycle jump off a cliff and parachuting his way to safety.
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Tom Cruise says he did more than 500 skydives and 13,000 motocross jumps to make this one action sequence realistic for his audience.
Tom Cruise’s most dangerous stunt in an action film
Paramount released a nine-minute long behind-the-scenes video showing several shocking stunts and how Cruise practiced for several scenes. The movie is set to be released on July 14, 2023.
Explaining his jaw-dropping stunts, Cruise said: “I’ve wanted to do it since I was a little kid. It all comes down to one thing: The audience.”
To perform the Dead Reckoning motocross and base jump scene, Cruise says he came up with a “master plan” after consulting several experts. The actor says he could figure out his speed by listening to the vibrations and noise from the bike. John Devore, a base jumping coach, says that Cruise’s stunt is “pretty much the biggest stunt in cinema history.”
Rehearsals are also an essential part of perfecting his precision. As mentioned, Cruise and company want the audience to see the context of his experience. So he had to ensure he didn’t miss his mark during the motocross jumps. The movie’s writer and director, Christopher McQuarrie, says the stunt is the “most dangerous” they have ever tried on set. He further noted that these action sequences required a lot of coordination between various aspects.
“Coming up with the stunt is only one of the technical challenges. The other is putting a camera where you can see Tom is doing it,” McQuarrie reveals in the released video. “Even two years ago, the cameras didn’t exist to allow us to do what we are trying to do.”
They had to use state-of-the-art drones and expensive hi-tech cameras to capture this scene. The crew even used computer simulations to determine how to construct their ramp and deduce Cruise’s trajectory.
Tom Cruise’s wildest stunts
Tom Cruise has consistently upped the ante in all his movies, and this isn’t his first rodeo. Cruise’s shocking stunts in the Mission Impossible franchise films fit his Holywood persona.
In Mission: Impossible II, he didn’t use a stunt double for the iconic cliff jump. In the movie, he scales the cliff with his bare hands and jumps a 15-foot gap from one cliff to another. He only had a thin rope holding him for safety.
Speaking about this stunt, director John Woo said: “I was really mad that he wanted to do [the stunt], but I tried to stop him, and I couldn’t.”
In another scene in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Cruise does a stunt where he scales down the side of a building. But, more interestingly, this isn’t just any building; it’s the Burj Khalifa, the 2722-foot skyscraper in Dubai.
Cruise clinging onto a plane from the outside is another daring fly that tops most stunts on television. In Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, he hangs 1,000 feet outside an Airbus A400M for six to eight minutes. For safety, he had a wire attached to him and contact lenses, but dangling using only your fingertips is not a small feat.
‘Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One’
Some movie enthusiasts have speculated that we may say goodbye to Tom Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, after the last release of the franchise. However, this movie now leaves the fans in anticipation of what it means for their beloved character, Ethan Hunt, as this sequel nears its conclusion.
Besides Tom Cruise, it will feature recurring stars such as Ving Rhames, Rebecca Fergusson, Simon Pegg, and Vanessa Kirby.
After watching Tom Cruise performing jaw-dropping stunts in the released featurettes, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One can’t come soon enough.