We’ve wondered how filmmakers create extraordinary scenes and mind-blowing stunts. Most of the time, the explanation is state of the art special effects, or professional stuntmen doing all the dangerous work. That’s not the case when it comes to Tom Cruise.
Cruise is renowned for performing his own stunts, as seen in the Mission: Impossible films. The upcoming sixth installment, Mission: Impossible — Fallout, is no exception. This time, the actor takes his performance to a whole new level. No small feat after being strapped to the side of a plane in the last movie. A behind-the-scenes video reveals that Cruise performs a dangerous helicopter stunt in the upcoming film, and you’ll have to see it to believe it. Check out the video below.
In one of the most ambitious sequences in the Mission: Impossible franchise, Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt engages Henry Cavill’s August Walker in a helicopter chase. How is it ambitious? The scene used no special effects or CGI. Cruise wanted the scene to look as real as it possibly could.
So he did what any of us would do: trained to become a helicopter pilot. Randy Hepner, the film’s aerial assistant, implies this decision was made solely by Cruise, who wanted to become a “2000-hour pilot in a very short period of time.”
The actor had to perform a 360-degree downward spiral while in the air. This, according to the video, takes a lot of skill and practice. It’s considered difficult even for a well-trailed pilot. This didn’t stop Cruise from carrying out the task like a true professional. Let’s not forget that Cruise not only had to perform this death-defying act, but had to remain in character while doing it.
Cruise wasn’t the only one who had his work cut out for him during the sequence. Special rigs had to be built by the crew to mount the cameras. That way they could capture Cruise during the scene, highlighting that it really was him flying the helicopter.
The actor’s decision to perform his own stunts isn’t exactly news, but part of the Mission: Impossible series is Cruise outdoing previous chapters, and it seems like he was successful. (Again!) Let’s not forget, however, that he suffered a terrible injury last year during production of the new movie. While attempting to leap onto a building, Cruise broke his ankle. Production was briefly halted while he recovered.
As we can see from this behind-the-scenes video, the actor hasn’t let the injury get in the way of his commitment to the role. It looks like this helicopter sequence could go down as one of the more ambitious moments not only in the Mission: Impossible franchise, but in cinema history.