Tom Cruise made special ‘action’ signal to crew before death defying Mission Impossible stunt
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Tom Cruise has revealed two reasons he made a certain signal ahead of his motorcycle stunt in Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One.
However, before he performed the stunt - a total of six times because we all know Cruise is a perfectionist and simply laughs in the face of death - Cruise gave a signal to other members of the cast and crew before riding his motorbike off a Norwegian cliff. But what did the signal mean?
In an interview with Fandango, Cruise explains there are 'two' reasons why he can be seen in the movie's behind-the-scenes footage, shaking his head and appearing to exhale deeply before undertaking the stunt.
The actor reveals: "One it was, 'Okay, I'm going to do this.'
"I did feel that emotion because I didn't know what was going to happen. It was the first day of filming...
"Look, I've spent years preparing for this. It's not just the years prepping and figuring it out but I've been riding motorcycles since I was a little kid, parachuting, training, constantly developing [...] knowledge, developing technology on how to shoot these scenes."
Cruise also notes the pressure of the shot in not just 'capturing an image' but also in telling 'a story'.
"So when I was on the ramp I was thinking, 'We're gonna see how this goes.'"
The second reason Cruise can be seeing shaking his head before performing the stunt was to communicate with the camera crew and everyone else involved in pulling off the scene.
"As that helicopter is going across we had to be in sync because he could have blown me off that ramp so his timing, my speed, had to be perfect," the actor continues. "To adjust the camera so [...] the rhythms of everything we had to do and everything we trained now's the moment where I'm going off the cliff."
Cruise notes he also had to call his 'own action' because they 'said action but no one went,' on top of having to find 'something where [he didn't] take [his] hands off the bike' but that kept within his performance.
"It was a nod, it was a cue to tell everyone, 'I'm about to go'. [...] That told the helicopter I'm going, that told the drones I'm going. And so all of that timing came off."
Once he performed the signal, Cruise had no choice but to 'release the bike' otherwise all of the timings would've been blown.
"It would [...] affect the dynamics of doing something like that - the downdraft from the helicopter, where the position of the drone is going to be, all the camera operators," he explains.
So, doing one of - if not the most - daredevil stunts of his career, Cruise's ability to safely execute the scene was essentially left up to a quick swish of his head. It's so Tom Cruise it hurts.
Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One was released on 14 July and is currently available to watch in cinemas.