That’s right, he’s not just an action hero – he’s a hero in action.
Most recently, news that the 58-year-old actor had saved a cameraman’s life while shooting a stunt on a train has made headlines. The stunt in question was for a scene in ‘Mission: Impossible 7’, filmed atop a moving train at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in England last week. According to the Daily Mail, Cruise – who has played the lead role of Ethan Hunt in all six of the Mission: Impossible films from 1996 – was see grabbing ahold of a cameraman, who had slipped from his place on the train. While the cameraman had a harness on, Cruise grabbed him to stop him from falling further down the carriage as he was weighed down by the hefty camera.
Yeap, that’s really him! Cruise is known for doing most of his own stunts. That’s not all! The Sun also went on to report a story recounted by the aerial camera operator who worked on the set of the 1998 film, ‘Cocktail’, Bill Bennett ASC.
Filming for ‘Cocktail’, a romantic comedy-drama starring 26-year-old Cruise and actress Elisabeth Shue (‘Karate Kid’, ‘Back to the Future Part II’, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’), almost ended prematurely and in tragedy, when Shue narrowly missed the rotor blades of a helicopter while on set.
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Bennett ASC apparently retold the story in a Facebook group called Crew Stories – the story was later confirmed by Cruise himself – and it starts off with Cruise and Shue stopping by the helicopter in question to check footage that had been shot.
“We were filming the scene from a helicopter, where Tom and Elisabeth are riding horses along the beach. We were shooting film, but I had a video recorder in the helicopter to record the camera’s video tap images. After a couple takes, the pilot would land the helicopter on the beach, and Tom and Elisabeth would come over to watch the shot recordings and get notes from the director. The only monitor was at my operating position in the left front seat of the helicopter.”
However, after getting feedback a second or third time, Shue – who was ready to act on the director’s feedback – “took off suddenly, running towards the back of the helicopter.” Bennett ASC, who was strapped in the seat of the helicopter could only frantically leaned out and scream “stop”. His voice, however, was drowned out by the noise of the helicopter’s engine. Cruise, who by then was already a fully trained chopper and a jet pilot – knew that his co-star was inches from death as she had not noticed the seemingly invisible rotors. It was then that the future ‘Top Gun’ star sprung into action.
“He lunged after her, but only was able grab her legs, tackling her to the ground. He rolled her over, dragging her at the same time, and you could see the momentary anger on her face while she was yelling ‘Why did you do that?’ But by that time he is pointing at the tail rotor which is now a couple feet away, screaming at her that she almost died. At that point she turned white, and he pulled her back towards the front of the helicopter and they walked away.”
Yeap, more than 30 years later and he’s still got the reflexes! Phew, it’s a good thing too! After many, many COVID related delays, ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ is set to hit theatres May 26, 2022.
*Cover image credit: @tomcruise