Later today, Tom Cruise stars in Mission: Impossible 2 on Channel 4 at 6:35pm. Nowadays, the American star is renowned for delivering some incredibly extravagant stunts, but he was still very new to it back in 2000. However, his ambition was there. And he ended up falling out with his director over it.
While shooting Mission: Impossible 2, Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, was tasked with some extraordinary stunts. This included rock climbing, racing around on motorbikes at break-neck speeds, dodging flames and jumping from buildings – a standard day for Cruise in 2023.
But, at the time, director John Woo wanted to use different methods of hiding Cruise in these high-octane shots. On top of using stunt doubles and camera trickery, he reportedly wanted to use some CGI as well. However, Cruise was not going to agree to these terms.
Cruise was “adamant” that he was going to carry out these stunts himself for the movie. He pointed out that it would look far more realistic in the final movie. He complained that it was “far too easy” to see when a body double was being used.
Cruise likened using these methods to “cheating” the audience.
Woo, who is afraid of heights, eventually came around to Cruise’s way of thinking. He allowed the Hollywood star to carry out his own stunts. Woo reportedly went on to say of Cruise: “I admire his courage.”
Cruise went on to take one shot to the extreme, however – as he is now known to do. During a heated moment in the story, Hunt sped through a blazing fire on a motorbike. This death-defying stunt was actually carried out by Cruise who defied his safety coordinators. He drove through the inferno without the use of flame protection gear or fire-retardant gel. (Via Film School Rejects)
IMDB claims Cruise also “lied to the film’s insurance agents” by saying he was going to let the stunt crew handle the stunts. But really, Cruise “did about 95 percent” of the film’s stunts.
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Cruise’s incredible stunts paid off. Mission: Impossible 2 was the highest-grossing movie of 2000, earning a whopping $546 million at the box office.
Since then, Cruise has been at the forefront of the Mission: Impossible series, and – crucially – the incredible stunts he has performed.
Three movies later, Cruise teamed up with Christopher McQuarrie, who became the star’s cohort in the movie series’ production. The 60-year-old star is currently working hard on his next two Mission: Impossible movies: Dead Reckoning Part One and Dead Reckoning Part Two.
Cruise recently posted a video of another unbelievable stunt being carried out in Dead Reckoning. The footage showed him riding off a cliff on a motorbike before going into a skydive.
In the video, Cruise said: “This is far and away the most dangerous thing we’ve ever attempted.” His base jumping coach, Miles Daisher, praised the actor, saying: “You tell him something, and he just locks it in. His sense of spatial awareness – he is the most aware person I’ve ever met.”
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One hits cinemas on July 14, 2023.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two is due for release on June 28, 2024.