In the world of action cinema, few actors are as synonymous with daring stunts as Tom Cruise. He’s made a name for himself by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the big screen, and in 2018, during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, he unveiled what would become one of the most heart-pounding stunts in the history of the Mission: Impossible franchise.
The revelation came when the host, Graham Norton, quizzed Tom Cruise about the arduous preparations required for the latest installment of Mission: Impossible. Cruise had hinted at a massive set piece during his previous appearance on the show, and now, he was ready to spill the details. He began by explaining that he had spent two years preparing for an aerial sequence involving a helicopter. The stunt wasn’t just another scene; it was a jaw-dropping experience that would leave audiences breathless.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this stunt was the commitment to practical action. Cruise emphasized that Mission: Impossible – Fallout was devoid of CGI. The film’s action sequences, including the heart-stopping helicopter chase, were captured without digital trickery. Cruise stated, “This is one of the largest practical action films we ever shot,” and he wasn’t exaggerating.
The helicopter chase: A unique spectacle
In the climax of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Tom Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, takes control of a helicopter in a high-speed chase that’s both sophisticated and dangerous. What sets this apart from other action sequences is that Cruise wasn’t just acting; he was piloting the helicopter. The shots were long takes, and he was genuinely in the air, remaining in character while steering the aircraft.
The danger of flying low and fast
Cruise’s stunt coordinator, Wade Eastwood once shed light on the gravity of the situation. In a helicopter, if you let go of the controls during a stunt, you’re in real danger. There’s no safety net; there’s no room for mistakes. The sequence took place in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, with Cruise chasing down Henry Cavill in another helicopter, piloted by a professional, with Cavill still strapped in beside him.
Tom Cruise’s willingness to go to such lengths for the sake of a realistic and thrilling action sequence reminds us of the incredible commitment that defines his career. The helicopter chase in Mission: Impossible – Fallout remains an iconic moment in the franchise’s history, showcasing Cruise’s passion for pushing the boundaries of cinema.