Tom Cruise Reveals A Dangerous Stunt That Scared His Late Mother

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

When Tom Cruise does whatever crazy thing he decides to do in his latest action movie, we all can’t believe our eyes. Fans are impressed, and perhaps a little bit nervous when he goes climbing up the sheer face of a building or HALO jumping out of airplanes. Cruise does it to make his movies exciting and to give his fans a thrill, but there was somebody in the audience who felt very differently about him risking his life: Cruise's late mother.

In a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live the actor talked about his career, including his experience filming Top Gun: Maverick with Val Kilmer. The actor also spoke about his mother, who he says never tried to stop him from doing anything, but was perfectly happy not knowing about the crazy stunts he did until after they were over. Cruise explained… 

I showed her when I was on the A400, the side of the airplane in Rogue Nation, and she was like, ‘Honey, is that you on the side of that airplane?’ I said, ‘Yes ma’am,’ and she goes ‘Oh lordy, I’m so glad you didn’t tell me about that one.’

Normally Mission: Impossible movies make us wait for the awesome action set piece where Tom Cruise does something crazy but Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation opened with Tom Cruise hanging onto the side of a cargo plane while it took off. 

It’s nice to know that while Tom Cruise is a clearly insane person who puts his body at unnecessary risk for the amusement of others, his mom was just a mom. She just worried about him. And while I’m sure she watched lots of his movies because she was a good supportive mother, she also didn’t need to know what he was doing all the time, because she would have worried.

Tom Cruise’s mother Mary Lee Pfeiffer passed away in 2017, so she missed the chance to see her son fly jets again in Top Gun: Maverick or do a HALO jump in the most recent Mission: Impossible film. I would have to imagine that the big stunt from the forthcoming Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One, which has Cruise drive a motorcycle off a cliff before parachuting to safety, is exactly the sort of thing he wouldn’t have told her about until long after it was over.

Considering that Cruise says in the same interview that he’ll never stop the stunt work even when he’s 100 years old, then fans are likely in store for years more of Tom Cruise’s brand of action. At some point we fully expect Cruise to film a movie in actual outer space. That one probably would have also scared the hell out of his mom, she probably still would have been pretty impressed though.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.