Tom Cruise’s Craziest Stunts: From Hanging Off a Plane to Sitting Atop the World’s Largest Building

With The Mummy, Tom Cruise kicked up his stunt game to the next level by filming a sequence inside an airplane… while in zero gravity. Cruise, alongside his costar Annabelle Wallis, shot over 50 takes in zero-g, flailing wildly all over the plane — or the “vomit comet,” which is the nickname the crew gave it, according to director Alex Kurtzman.

“That was very, very exciting, to be able to do things like that with Tom,” Kurtzman told Fandango. “That is what the challenge and the joy of working with him is that you never really know what to expect next, but you certainly know that whatever it is, it’s going to be a massive experience for everybody involved.

When it comes to insane stunts like that, no major star takes the kind of risks that Tom Cruise does. He truly is a man who leaves it all on the field, so to speak, and over the years he’s dazzled us with one incredible stunt-filled action sequence after the next.

In honor of the man who can hang from planes and hold his breath underwater for six minutes, here are some of our absolute favorite Tom Cruise stunts.

Going for a plane ride — Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (2015)

One thing about Tom Cruise: the man knows how to open a movie. The actor did admit to being a bit scared while attempting to hang from the side of an Airbus A400 M as it took off over the beautiful British countryside at the beginning of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, but he’s probably just saying that to prove he’s human. In reality, this man is scared of nothing!

Chilling on top of the world’s tallest building — Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (2011)

One of the franchise’s most exhilarating moments came in the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible series, in which Ethan Hunt and his team traveled to Dubai for a dangerous bait and switch inside — and outside — the world’s tallest building. Of course Hunt had to go at it the hard way when traveling between floors, choosing to climb up the building’s exterior — a stunt he predominantly pulled off himself, as evidenced by the many photos of Cruise just chillin’ out at the very top as a helicopter circled him above.

Leaping onto a moving car — Knight and Day (2010)

Before he was hanging onto the side of an airplane, he was hanging onto the side of a speeding car. With a career stuffed with memorable car-chase sequences, this scene from the action-comedy Knight and Day will always go down as one of Cruise’s most entertaining, primarily because it’s one of his funniest.

Kicked over a table by Cameron Diaz — Knight and Day (2010)

Proving he can also take a good beating offscreen, too, watch Cameron Diaz hilariously kick Tom Cruise over a table while the two were rehearsing a fight scene for Knight and Day.

Holding his breath underwater for six minutes — Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (2015)

It’s clear Cruise is kicking it up a notch in Rogue Nation, with further proof coming in a scene the actor wanted to film underwater and all in one take. That required him to hold his breath for upwards of six-and-a-half minutes (!).

Cruise told USA Today, “I have done a lot of underwater sequences. But we wanted to create a suspense underwater sequence without cuts. So doing that sequence was really interesting. We’re underwater and we’re doing breath-holds of 6 to 6 1/2 minutes. So I was doing all my training with the other stuff (on set). It was very taxing stuff.”

Jumping out of a restaurant to escape an avalanche of water — Mission: Impossible (1996)

Speaking of Cruise’s fondness of stunts involving water, here’s a great one from the first Mission: Impossible movie. “You’ve never seen me very upset,” he barks right before using a grenade disguised as a piece of chewing gum to just about surf his way out of a restaurant and away from those who mean him harm.

The car chase — Jack Reacher (2012)

It ain’t a Tom Cruise action movie without a sensational Tom Cruise-led car chase, and Jack Reacher delivers one for the ages. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie — who reteams with Cruise on Rogue Nation — the entirety of Jack Reacher feels like a gritty ’70s throwback, thanks to a gutsy Sidney Poitier-esque performance from David Oyelowo and slick action sequences like the one featured above.

The hoverpack chase — Minority Report (2002)

Poor Tom Cruise has been chased in a lot of movies, but one thing we love about him is that every chase is different. Case in point: a futuristic setting provides Cruise and director Steven Spielberg with the tools to create a spellbinding hoverpack chase in Minority Report.

Rock climbing without a harness — Mission: Impossible II (2000)

No, of course we’re not done talking about Mission: Impossible movies! There was very little buildup to the first spectacular Cruise stunt in the franchise’s second installment, as it literally opens with Ethan Hunt rock climbing with his bare hands and no harness… because that’s apparently how he likes to roll.

Tell us your favorite Tom Cruise stunt in the comments below, and catch The Mummy in theaters on June 9.

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