Tom Cruise’s craziest movie stunts

Taryn Davies
Published: June 8, 2017

Tom Cruise is no wallflower; we all know that, and he's even willing to put his own health and safety at risk for his work. He prefers to do his own stunts on camera, rather than leaving it to the professionals.

This week sees the release of the rebooted The Mummy movie, and there’s plenty of stunts he performed himself in the film., while they may not be on the scale of hanging off the side of a plane or climbing the Burj Khalifa, they’re still pretty amazing.

Here’re are Tom Cruises’ crazies movie stunts.

Hanging off a plane in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

In this Mission Impossible instalment, Tom Cruise returns to his role as Ethan Hunt and has to take down an organisation called the Syndicate. The film starts in spectacular fashion with Cruise running and jumping onto a moving plane. We see him hanging off the side of the plane, as he waits for the door opened.

It all started off as a joke that Cruise would do this stunt, but then he agreed to it, and we're pretty sure there were a few sweaty palms on the day of filming.

Christopher McQuarrie, director of the film, admitted that he suggested it as a joke, but then the actor agreed to it. Tom Cruise Hanging Off A Plane In Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation

Zero gravity in The Mummy

There’s a plane crash sequence in the upcoming film, and while there was an easier option for the stunt, Cruise insisted that they do it zero gravity to ensure the audience got a realistic feel.

There were 64 takes done in zero gravity, taking two days and four high-altitude flights.

The film's writer and director, Alex Kurtzman admitted there was a lot of sicknesses when they filmed the stunt.

Zero gravity stunt scene in The Mummy

Climbing the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

We're not always sure what exactly leads to Cruise doing the stunts he does in Mission: Impossible, but they certainly make for exciting viewing. In this film, he climbs the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building. He did it himself, with just a harness to secure him 1,700 feet off the ground.

Although it wasn't used in the film, he did, in fact, reach the very top.

Car Chase in Edge of Tomorrow

Cruise stars alongside Emily Blunt in the film, and in one scene there was a car chase.  Blunt said on Conan that while driving the stunt car Cruise was in the passenger seat and she accidentally wrecked it by hitting a tree.

As well as that the pair were running and jumping, flying and falling, amidst flamethrowers, gunplay and rocket launchers.

The sword fight in The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai could have been Cruise’s last film due to the fact he nearly died while filming. Cruise trained for more than six months in martial arts and samurai fighting, but that didn't matter when a horse travelled an extra foot during filming, leaving a sword just an inch from Cruise's neck.

The motorcycle chase in Knight and Day

Cruise stars alongside Cameron Diaz in this film, and there’s a scene where the two are being chased on a motorcycle. Cruise actually came up with the idea of having Diaz flip around on the motorcycle to face their chasers to shoot at them. He asked Diaz if she wanted to do it and she did, according to Access Hollywood.

Six-minute dive scene in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

This action-packed film also required Cruise’s character to hold his breath for three minutes in order to hack into an underwater safe. However, things don’t go as smoothly as planned and he ends up being underwater closer to six minutes. The actor was adamant about doing it himself. Although there was a stunt crew available in case the actor needed help, Cruise was able to do it on his own, according to the stunt coordinator on set.

Jack Reacher’s car chase

Cruise actually performed all of the driving in the sequence himself, from the speed to reckless turns, to smashing into the giant stack of barrels. The film’s second unit producer Paul Jennings was so impressed that he said Tom was “one of the best stunt drivers I’ve ever met.” Side note: The part in the chase when Tom’s car stalls were not scripted. Tom was able to fire the car back up himself and speed off. Director Christopher McQuarrie loved the realism and decided to keep it in the movie.

Exploding fish tank in Mission: Impossible

Director Brian de Palma was concerned about the possibility of drowning when it came to the fish tank stunt, but Cruise was adamant he would be doing the stunt on a soundstage.

Cruise managed to smash through the mock glass window with 16 tonnes of water behind it, and despite this remained unscathed.

Rock climbing Mission: Impossible 2

He had to take things to the next level for Mission: Impossible 2 and he did that by rock climbing in the opening scene, although there were elements that he didn't do, jumping from one rock to a lower one, he done everything else. Even the Christ-like hand from the rocks.

Flying Jets in Top Gun

When Tom Cruise took on the role of playing a student in a Navy pilot program, he made sure to have it in his contract that he would be able to fly the F-14 three times. And if there is ever a sequel he admits he won't be relying on CGI for the flying parts.

Knife to the eye in Mission: Impossible 2

Cruise and Dougray Scott have a battle in the film with knives, and it was real, even the knife that managed to get just a quarter of an inch from Cruise's eyeball. It was connected to a cable that had been precisely measured. Cruise was adamant that he wanted the whole sequence to look real, so told Scott he must use as much force as possible.

The break-in scene in Mission: Impossible

The actor carried out the majority of this stunt himself, staying in one position of elevated suspension. The reason it's so amazing is because there was height, there was pressure from the inverted position, and the length of time he had to stay like that.