Tom Cruise has always boasted that he does his own stunts.
Whether it’s driving a race car in “Days of Thunder,” battling enemies with a samurai sword in “The Last Samurai”…
… Or climbing the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” the megastar has prided himself on giving audiences an authentic experience.
But with the release of thetrailer for the new “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,”Cruise proved himself as one of the toughest guys in Hollywood.
In the much-hyped trailer, Cruise, reprising his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, ends up on a giant Airbus A400M plane and is hanging from the door as it takes off.
In today’s era of Hollywood plugging in CGI for almost anything, when watching the scene teased one would likely assume it was done in a sound studio covered in green screen with a giant fan to project the star of the movie.
But that’s not Tom Cruise’s style.
“I knew I wanted to have an aeroplane sequence. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” Cruise told Yahoo Movies UK during an interview with director Christopher McQuarrie.
“As a kid I remember flying on an aeroplane and thinking: ‘what would it be like out on the wing or on the side of the aeroplane?!'”
So after eight takes on a runway in England, Cruise’s childhood dream finally came true.
Cruise and McQuarrie were both aware that they had to top the stunt of Cruise climbing Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (which he also did without a stunt double).
When the production designer brought McQuarrie a model of an Airbus plane, the director joked to Cruise, “What if you were on the outside of this thing when it took off?’ Cruise replied, “Yeah, I could do that.”
Discussions began and the major concern was debris on the runway or bird strikes. According to Cruise the production spent days clearing the grass near the runway of any birds. But Cruise was also concerned about something no one else was bringing up: fuel.
“You have jet fuel coming right out of the back at me because I’m on the wing of the engine,” he said. “Even when we were taxying I was also inhaling the fumes and [it] was going in my eyes.”
To help the fumes and any particles getting in his eyes, Cruise was given custom contact lenses that covered his entire eyeballs, but the threat of being struck by something on the runway was real.
“I remember one time we were going down the runway and there was just a little particle that just hit me, it was smaller than a finger nail,” Cruise recalls. “I was thankful it didn’t hit my hands or face, if it did I’d have a problem because those parts were exposed, but it still could have broken my ribs!”
“When that thing was going down the runway it was everything to keep my feet down, then it went up and my body was slamming on the side. I was like whoa, this is intense,” the actor tells Yahoo.
Cruise notes that he was strapped to the side of the plane from the moment the engine started to the moment it landed and the engine shut down — “The climb, the taxi, down the runway, getting the shot, levelling off, turning around and landing. And I did it EIGHT TIMES to get the shot.”
“It’s the most dangerous thing I’ve even done, to be honest,” said Cruise. He notes that climbing a mountain in Moab for “Mission: Impossible 2” and the Burj Khalifa in “Ghost Protocol” were dangerous…
But when they got this shot, he said, “We’re not doing it anymore!”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.