Tom Cruise has all of the traits of a movie star. He’s been blessed with good looks, great timing, eternal youth, and unrivaled charisma, and he has worked hard to make a number of great movies over the years. What sets him apart from nearly every other movie star is his commitment to doing his own stunts, and the great lengths he will go to thrill the audience, even at an age when most actors have stopped doing stunts entirely. He has even gotten some pretty bad injuries, including a broken ankle from the rooftop jump in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The leaked footage of the shoot is brutal to watch, as you can see the exact moment where the bone got crushed. Production had to shut down, but Cruise was back in action in no time at all, and the film still made its release date, complete with the shot of the jump that broke his ankle.
The Mission: Impossible films have been a showcase for incredible stunt work, and it seems he is always trying to top himself. Cruise’s mountain climbing in the second film was a feat in its own, but the sequence in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol where he hangs off the side of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is one of the all-time great cinematic stunt sequences. In Fallout, Cruise does some of his most spectacular stunts yet, including one where he actually flew a helicopter, and another where he performed a HALO jump that required him to do 106 jumps to get the right take. As Hollywood has come to revolve around computer-generated images, and many action movies consist of animated characters pummeling each other, Cruise stands out as the last of a dying breed, risking his life to give audiences a sensation. The suspense of seeing humans perform death-defying acts in a real physical space is unmatched, and it is one that Cruise has made into his own personal brand.