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Tom Cruise jumped out of a plane 106 times for Mission Impossible - Fallout shoot

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Apr 26, 2018, 10:32 AM EDT

Tom Cruise will literally do anything to make an action movie’s stunts seem realistic. The detail-obsessed perfectionist has gone to great lengths (and great heights) for the Mission: Impossible series, and now, thanks to a CinemaCon appearance with Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie, we know exactly how far he went for one of his newest, craziest endeavors.

Deadline reports that in the film, Cruise performed a skydiving stunt during which he leaped from the plane at 30,000 feet and going about 220 miles per hour. The objective: grab Henry Cavill’s mustachioed villain in mid-air. Then some meteorological nastiness goes down, everything goes wrong, and well — it was a hard take to get right. Like “over a hundred takes" hard.

Cruise did it 106 times to get the three takes they needed, which meant so did a cameraman with a camera strapped on his head (who had to drop off backward to follow the actor). The camerawork sounds crazy, no? Now realize that he had to keep level with his star’s face “with only a sense of instinct,” said McQuarrie. “The only place we could do this was the United Arab Emirates,” said Cruise, regarding whether this was even a legal thing to do.

Tom Cruise Henry Cavill Mission Impossible Fallout

Credit: Alex J. Berliner

After explaining that stunt, the team figured, why not show off a little of the action they’ve been working on? That means audiences at the convention were treated to a 15-minute sequence in which the heroes smash cars into trucks, trucks into the Seine, motorcycles into cops, and Tom Cruise’s rump on the ground.

Then — of course — he gets away thanks to perennial teammates Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. Phew. As you might imagine, it sounds like quite a sequence, but, as far as we know, they didn’t have to do it over a hundred times. And at least there was always the ground nearby. Sometimes you don't get to take that for granted during a Mission: Impossible movie.