Over a long and illustrious career, Tom Cruise has pulled off some of the most daring stunts in Hollywood history. And the actor has pulled them off like a pro, without getting into too many accidents thanks to intense preparation and training. In an interview with Graham Norton, Cruise recalled one particular eating stunt he had to perform while filming 1983's The Outsiders which had him throwing up afterward.
"I was working with [director Francis Ford] Coppola, and I was like, 'You know what, I'm going to eat chocolate cake in the scene.'... I had to do it in the scene, it's part of the character, I'm going to eat chocolate cake. We ended up shooting this scene for three days, and we did like 100 takes of me eating chocolate cake, and I had to keep eating it. It's like the first couple of takes, I was like, 'Oh, this is so good, I have to eat it. It was so moist.' And then it was like, 'Oh my gosh, did we get it?' Three days of Francis [Ford Coppola] saying: 'Let's do it again.' I was in sugar shock, I was vomiting."
It might be that first reckless approach to doing his own physically arduous tasks on camera, and the vomiting that followed as a result, helped Cruise understand the importance of proper preparation before pulling off a stunt.
For the rest of his action-packed career, whether flying an actual fighter plane, holding his breath underwater for eight minutes, or scaling the tallest building in the world, Cruise always made sure he had undergone proper training first.
But all the training in the world does not guarantee safety, and the actor has suffered his share of mishaps while filming stunts, enough to make any other actor think twice before performing their own stunts again. But Tom Cruise is built differently. In a recent interview, he admitted he sometimes has to be told to stop smiling while filming a dangerous scene.
"I am a very physical actor and I love doing them. I study and train and take a lot of time figuring it all out. I have broken a lot of bones! The first time of any stunt is nerve-wracking, but it's also exhilarating. I have been told a few times during shooting a stunt to stop smiling!"
Tom Cruise's relationship to stunts might not make sense to regular folks, but that is what makes him an action star. The actor will next be seen back in action mode as Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 movies, which are rumored to be Cruise's final appearance in the franchise. But that doesn't mean the actor is giving up on doing dangerous stunts, since he will then start work on his next action movie which will be filmed in actual space.
Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Mission: Impossible 7 stars Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Czerny, Esai Morales, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, and Shea Whigham. The film arrives in theaters on May 27, 2022.