Tom Cruise@53: Five daredevil stunts which make him the top gun

  • Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 03, 2015 19:48 IST

A Hollywood dreamboat who's not afraid to get down and dirty, that's Tom Cruise for you. The '80s heartthrob-cum-scientologist-cum-Hollywood royalty has two milestones coming up this month. He turns 53 today (aww shucks, we would never believe that looking at him) and the next Mission Impossible film releasing later this month.

For his birthday today, we combine the two elements and give you his most daring stunts (most of them from MI films) till date. The thing with this pocket-sized dynamo is that he likes to get physical. Before you get us wrong, here's the deal: The star likes to do his stunts himself.

Cruise owned the '80s, thanks to his melt-your-heart persona and those dreamy eyes, but '90s onwards, we met the action star (and the budding Scientologist, Oprah Winfrey's couch hopper and Hollywood's resident nut-case, but let's not talk about that on his birthday). Here are five of his most defining action scenes. By the end of it, you won't even remember the nutcase part.

1. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Tom Cruise hangs from the side of an Airbus A400M being flown 5,000 ft in the air. Just so that they get it right, he did the shot eight times. Just to give you a peek into risks involved: The star avoided a finger nail-sized debri, which if it had hit him full force could have broken his ribs.

2. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise jumps and then swings around the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Factor in that he is 3000ft over ground, add the wind and chill and you have one helluva stunt. Just to get an idea of how risky it was, Cruise had to fire the insurance company because they just won't go their go-ahead for the daring stunt.

3. Knight and Day

The film had two daredevil stunts which were used heavily during promotions. While one had Cruise and Cameron Diaz riding through a horde of rampaging bulls, while the other had the famous switcheroo where Cruise flipped Diaz while they are riding high speed on a motorcycle. During the bike scene, a camera rig was used but it still a highly dangerous stunt.

4. The Last Samurai
The final charge in this film is one of cinema's more inspired moments. Tom Cruise rides well and some of that physical technique is far more inspiring than all the wirework and harness-led stunts. Visceral, we would say.

5. Mission Impossible
If imitation is the best form of flattery, this has to be THE stunt. Tom Cruise breaks into Langley, suspended from wires. As he hangs about 30 feet from ground, it is very clear that he is doing the stunt himself. Reading the actor's body contortions and obvious struggle to maintain his balance make, it is obvious that this stunt took a lot of effort.

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