Hollywood star's big break Mission: Impossible – Fallout

AFP
Production of "Mission: Impossible – Fallout"  was halted in London last year after Cruise slammed into a concrete wall as he leapt between buildings while attached to cables.
AFP
AFP

Tom Cruise has established himself as one of the most powerful players in Hollywood. 

If the infamous “hobbling” scene in Rob Reiner’s “Misery” made you hide behind the sofa, then prepare to wince hard at “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” — as Tom Cruise shatters his ankle for real. The injury has threatened or ended the careers of sports legends like Diego Maradona, Yao Ming and Derek Jeter, but 55-year-old Cruise calmly finished the take and was back on set within six weeks.

“I’ve broken bones before in my life, but it was hard,” said Cruise. “It was very difficult, because they were concerned I wasn’t going to be able to run for nine months at least and I’m in the middle. I’ve got a release date and responsibilities. I didn’t want to stop filming.”

“Mission: Impossible — Fallout” is the sixth film in the spy franchise and scheduled for a July 27 release. Production was halted in London last year after Cruise slammed into a concrete wall as he leapt between buildings while attached to cables.

“I knew instantly my ankle was broken and I really didn’t want to do it again so just got up and carried on with the take,” he said after the incident.

Director Chris McQuarrie — who was also at the helm for Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible 5” (2015) and “Jack Reacher” (2012) — said he would “move heaven and earth” to ensure that fateful fourth take got into the movie. Cruise’s most difficult days were ahead of him, though, as he had to spend hours every day in rehab and climb a mountain in Norway when he returned to filming.

“When you see the sprinting in the movie, I’m basically doing it on a broken foot. But I was able to get to a physical point where it wasn’t causing any more damage by doing that,” Cruise said.

A veteran of more than 50 movies, the star is admired for his adventurous attitude to filmmaking, yet it all started comparatively sedately as Cruise announced himself to Hollywood with a minor role in the 1981 romantic drama “Endless Love.”

It was a memorable scene in 1983’s “Risky Business,” where he cavorts in a white shirt and his underwear while lip-syncing to “Old Time Rock and Roll,” that confirmed him as one of the film industry’s brightest talents.

Legendary producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson cast Cruise in 1985’s smash-hit “Top Gun” as the fighter pilot Maverick, a role that catapulted him into the ranks of Tinseltown’s elite.

In the 33 years since, he has established himself as one of the most powerful and bankable players in Hollywood, his movies have grossed US$9.3 billion and earned him three Oscar nominations.

Born in New York on July 3, 1962, the actor had an unsettled childhood after his father left home when he was 11 and refused to pay child support. Cruise is reported to have attended 15 schools in 12 years. His onscreen success has been matched by controversial headlines off it, mostly through his support for the Church of Scientology.

“Almost 40 years. Forty years. For-ty,” Cruise mused backstage at CinemaCon about his longevity in the business as he was asked how he would rank the “Mission: Impossible” franchise among his career accomplishments.

“It’s been a massive part of my life. It was the first film I ever produced. I love playing this character, something you kind of dream that hopefully an audience would still want,” he added.

For the coming months, Cruise turns his attention to a sequel of the warmly received 2014 sci-fi movie “Edge of Tomorrow” and the project most of his fans are buzzing about — long-awaited sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.” Director Joseph Kosinski is expected to begin production this summer, ahead of a 2019 release, although perhaps Cruise’s most iconic role is shrouded in secrecy.

“We’ll see if it goes through. We’ll see if it happens,” Cruise teased, flashing his trademark mile-wide grin.

“I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you,” he joked.

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