A Dangerous Stunt For A Dangerous Movie: Crazy Tom Cruise Stunts

“A Stunt By Tom Cruise”

There are tons too many articles out there on the internet showing what a “nutcase” Tom Cruise can be, while not even a quarter of that same amount of press ever says, “what a nice guy he is.” And since being the “most famous Scientologist in the world” means he’s more crazy than you and me, a pretty decent amount of articles about the “Crazy Stuntman” version of “Tom Cruise” will agree and say, “yeah, it’s true.” But can you blame them? He’s one of the two greatest living Actors who are responsible for some of the “craziest stunts (and so dangerous!),” in the entire history of Cinema. In case you’re wondering about the other “stunt obsessed dude in the Industry,” it’s Jackie Chan of course.

Cruise doesn’t exactly have a reputation as the sanest man in Hollywood, even discounting all of that “Scientology s%it” he’s into, Cruise is still considered to be pretty unhinged by even Hollywood’s lax standards because of the utter disregard he seems to show for his own body when it comes to making movies. Cruise likes to think of himself as an action hero both on-screen and off. In real life he’s saved a family from a burning boat, pulled a small child to safety from a movie premiere crush and used his private jet to send a badly injured crew member to hospital. Or maybe I just know way too much about this guy. Sure, he’s no Robert De Niro but Cruise always makes my list of good actors.


Image Credit: Crazy Cruise Stunts. (Part I); Courtesy of © Asif Ahsan Khan

Now, it’s pretty well known that Tom Cruise usually insists on doing all his own stunts in every film he stars in, even consider listening to some of the stunt ideas he’s being suggested, which is fine. The unknown scary part is that when he likes the idea, he takes it under consideration (at first), but then, ultimately makes it ten times more dangerous than the ‘draft’ initially suggested.

Most actors try to avoid doing stunts, not because they can’t, it’s because they don’t want to. And it’s easier that way. But hell, would you ever want to do what Cruise does if you were anything but a “Stuntman,” while arguably the biggest Movie Star in the world?

A lot of actors won’t even choose do the less dangerous ones, while the rest aren’t actually capable of pulling something like this:


Gif: Mission: Impossible (1996); By the way this was more dangerous than it looked; Image Credit: Crazy Cruise Stunts. (Part I); Courtesy of © Asif Ahsan Khan

His craziest stunts belong to the Mission: Impossible series;


Gif: Mission Impossible Series. Image Credit: Crazy Cruise Stunts. (Part I); Courtesy of © Asif Ahsan Khan

As I was saying…. 

One of the lesser known facts about Cruise that most people don’t know is: He will often suggest doing more dangerous versions of stunts required of him when he’s on set to make them look more realistic and possibly because he’s bats%it insane. During the first one, Mission: Impossible (1996 movie), he couldn’t use his famous “taking over the film” by overpowering everybody from producers to directors to even the distributors who actually holds the film’s distribution rights. But from the second instalment, it was his. So yeah, MI:2 was the beginning of all “crazy.”

Mission: Impossible II (2000)


Gif: Mission Impossible II. Image Credit: Crazy Cruise Stunts. (Part I); 

In opening scene of this 2000 sequel, Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is reintroduced to viewers free-climbing cliffs at Utah’s Dead Horse Point. Cruise did all of the climbing save for the moment his character slips from the cliff. He was winched in and out of position and the harness he wore for safety was removed in post-production.

Watch the Clip here;

Director John Woo said that he was too terrified to look through the viewfinder as the scenes were shot, fearing that his star might slip 2,000 ft to his doom. Cruise would not be persuaded against doing the stunt, though, and even tore his shoulder jumping across the cliff-face in the pursuit of the perfect shot.

This following segment is from Entertainment Weekly’s article (published in 2000/05/17):

If heights give you the heebie-jeebies, you may want to keep your eyes wide shut during the opening scene of ”Mission: Impossible 2” (in theaters May 24). Tom Cruise scales a vertigo-inducing cliff with his bare hands, leaps over a deadly drop, then hangs from a rock ledge by his fingertips before pulling himself up to safety. If you can’t figure out how the producers found a stunt double who looks so much like the 37 year old star, that’s because they didn’t. ”It was all Tom up there,” says producer Paula Wagner. ”So of course, we had some really nail-biting moments.”

The fifth instalment in the M:I Series, Rogue Nation (2015) was insanely action-packed and features Tom Cruise appearing to risk his life more times than I can count. Sure, the actor is widely known for performing his own stunts, but there’s no way anyone in their right mind would perform the stunts for real that are featured in that movie. Too many time this became a fact: Cruise has some serious balls man!” — (link: aircraft hanging stunt video on YouTube).

What is the most dangerous yet unnecessary stunt ever performed for a movie? — If I had to choose and since I have to choose , the “most dangerous stunt ever done for a movie scene” would be one by Tom Cruise; Why else would I write all that crap about him in the first place?

The Stunt: It’s that time when he asked a stuntman to try and stab him right in the f%cking eye!



Knives are terrifying, but not to Tom Cruise. In fact, he was so determined to up the “wow” factor that he insisted the knife be real in that climactic scene of the movie. Sounds doable, right? Wrong.

The tip of that knife was designed to be placed a mere quarter inch from Cruise’s cornea. Even that wasn’t enough for daredevil Tom. Though the knife was carefully measured and harnessed to a device off screen, Cruise wanted Scott to try his damnedest to break it. Had things gone wrong, Cruise may have needed that Vanilla Sky prosthetic ahead of schedule.

(Source: Screenrant)

Cruise was filming Mission: Impossible II, the original script called for Ethan Hunt to have a sick knife fight with some random henchman on a beach. However, Cruise felt that the scene could be a little more, dramatic, and thought it would be cool if during the fight, his character almost had the knife shoved right into his “f%cking eyeball.” Which, if you and I are being honest, did actually make that fight scene about 80% cooler and ended up being one of the most iconic moments of the entire franchise.

His eye should’ve won an Oscar for not S%itting itself during this scene:CRUISE STUNTS _ ASIF AHSAN KHAN (3).gif

Gif: Mission Impossible II. Image Credit: Crazy Cruise Stunts. (Part I); Courtesy of © Asif Ahsan Khan

Because this movie was being directed by John Woo, Cruise’s suggestion was immediately written into the fight choreography while Cruise and the director tried to work out the best way to film it. Cruise, not wanting to waste time dick-ing around with CGI, suggested to the director that it would probably be much easier and way funnier for everyone if they just stuck a knife to a steel cable and then filmed a stuntman trying to stab him with it like that scene in “The Simpsons (TV series) where Homer Simpson tries to stab someone with a cheque-writing pen.

This is the best way to make anybody understand the scene. CRUISE STUNTS _ ASIF AHSAN KHAN (1).gif

To make sure the knife didn’t, you know, kill him, Cruise measured exactly how far the knife could reach and then positioned his actual, real human eye less than half an inch away from it before asking the stuntman to try and stab him in the face “as hard as he could” so that they captured the most realistic reaction possible.


Image: Perhaps more scary is seeing his production assistant insert what is presumably a contact lens directly onto his eyeball with a device reminiscent of one seen in Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange; Yahoo Movies;

If you watch the scene back you’ll see that the knife itself is actually shaking as it’s being held near Cruise’s eye, that’s not for dramatic effect, the stuntman was genuinely trying to stab Cruise in the face as hard as he could and was only being stopped by a hidden cable just out of shot. According to Cruise, the stuntman was really nervous because he insisted on performing the stunt with a real knife. Why a real knife? Well why not a real knife?

Watch the Clip here; Courtesy of Movieclips;

In Mission: Impossible III (2006 movie) upped the ante yet again by insisting that for the trailer bait scene in which he’s slammed into the side of a car by the explosion caused by a missile, they let him run as fast as possible before activating the mechanism that slammed him into the car for maximum effect.

But then he demanded they let him do the scene 7 times to make sure he got it right…

Just to reiterate, Tom Cruise, a 44 year-old man at the time this film was being made, asked to do this: Seven f%cking times!CRUISE STUNTS _ ASIF AHSAN KHAN (5).gif

Gif: Mission: Impossible III (2006)Image Credit: Crazy Cruise Stunts. (Part I); Courtesy of © Asif Ahsan Khan

This was the “Part I” of the “Crazy Cruise Stunts” series.  (Which I had initially started in early 2010). “Part II, II and IV” will be available soon, hopefully.

Thank you,

Asif Ahsan Khan

(P.S.: I apologise for my inadequate use of language)

Source: ‘Mission: Impossible’ Stunts; Mission: Impossible II (2000); 

Image credits: All images (and GIFs) are mine. Attribution given for exceptions; 

Article written by Asif Ahsan Khan, on December 29, 2015;

© Asif Ahsan Khan; ® All rights reserved. 


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