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Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One: Tom Cruise did 13,000 motocross jumps to prepare for stunt

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If you have watched the trailer of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, you must remember the jaw-dropping stunts Tom Cruise performed on screen, including the one where he rides off a mountain cliff on his bike.

It was September 6, 2020, the first day of principal photography on the Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One sets, and Tom Cruise, 60, drove his motorbike off a mountain. For bike and stunts geeks, the actor rode off a custom-made Honda CRF 250 off a purpose-built ramp on the side of Norway’s Helsetkopen mountain. The cliff is almost 1200 meters above sea level. He jumped 4000 feet into the ravine and opened his parachute just 500 meters before hitting the ground.

The cast and crew, including director Christopher McQuarrie breathed a sigh of relief after Cruise was done with the stunt. However, the actor went on to do it 7 more times, only to ensure that the footage was perfect.

Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Trailer

Talking about the stunt, Tom Cruise said, “Every time I went off the ramp, it was dangerous. It was risking my life. And we wanted to keep that to a minimum. We have a saying on Mission: Impossible movies: ‘Don’t be safe. Be competent”.

The highly-talked-about motorbike jump – in which we see Cruises’ character Ethan Hunt drive off the edge and let go of the bike and then do a high-risk BASE jump in the 6 seconds he had in hand before he touched the ground was in the planning for a long time.

How Tom Cruise prepared for the stunt

In the pre-production stage in the UK, Cruise completed 500 skydives and 13,000 motocross jumps in order to prepare himself to perform one of the most dangerous stunts he has done on the screen. However, Cruise was thinking about the stunt for far longer than that. He said, “When I was a little kid, I used to make my own jumps, building ramps to jump my bicycle over garbage cans.” When the actor was only 8 years old, he made a makeshift ramp using plywood. “I started down a hill on my bicycle, hit the ramp, split the wood in two and smashed into some garbage cans. There was blood everywhere,” he laughed as he shared the anecdote. “I’ve had a lot of blood and broken bones and teeth from doing that over the years, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” 

During the shoot for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One too, Tom Cruise paid special attention to every detail, including his speed.



I needed to be at a certain speed when I jumped off the ramp [in the BASE jump stunt], but I couldn’t have a speedometer on the bike because the ramp was so narrow that if I looked down, I could come off it. So, I had to gauge the speed of the bike through the sound and vibration of the engine and by feeling the molecules in the air over my body. That was the level of competency that I had to get to.”

Tom Cruise


Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is all set to release theatrically on July 22.

ALSO READ: Tom Cruise urges fans to watch rival movies Barbie and Oppenheimer, despite Mission Impossible 7 release

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