Tom Cruise is known for doing his own stunts. His dedication to his craft knows no bounds. But with the new Mission Impossible: Fallout movie he's taken it to the extreme.
The 55-year-old actor learned to fly a helicopter just so that he could film a particular stunt in Queenstown. Filming took place in New Zealand's adventure capital over a six week period in June last year.
As aerial coordinator Marc Wolff explained, "flying a helicopter takes a lot of skill. To put someone like Tom into a situation like this is almost impossible to imagine."
Tom approached Aerial assistant Randy Hepner and said he was going to learn to fly a helicopter. "We're going to go to Airbus and we're going to learn how to fly a helicopter. And be a 2,000 hour pilot in a very short period of time," Hepner revealed.
"It takes something like three months of 8 hour days just to become a novice helicopter pilot," Hepner explains. "Tom needed to work around the clock to reach the level of skill the sequence needs."
Tim McAdams, Airbus chief instructor: "There are very few students that have his level of dedication and focus."
Stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood stressed the importance of having realistic stunts. "It's super important for a movie like Mission to be doing it all practically and for real. Tom doesn't want to sit in a green screen. The audiences can tell when something's been cheated."
Tom's training culminated in the most dangerous stunt he's ever performed - a 360 degree downward spiral that "most pilots wouldn't attempt."
As one of the crew members rather bluntly explained, "you make a mistake - somebody's going to die from it."
You can view Tom's amazing stunt in the player at the top of the article.
Mission Impossible: Fallout will hit New Zealand cinemas in August.
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