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Regardless of what you think of Tom Cruise, as a performer, the guy is willing to go to great lengths and put it all on the line in order to entertain us. He is well known for doing his own stunts, going far beyond what most superstars are willing or able to do, something that is on full display in the Mission: Impossible movies. In the latest installment, this summer’s Rogue Nation, he took even his own proclivities to the edge, performing a scene where he had to hold his breath for up to six minutes. And if you’ve ever wanted to see Tom Cruise with his face submerged in water for a ridiculous length of time, you need to watch this video.
If you’ve seen Rogue Nation, then you know the scene in question; it’s the one where Cruise’s super spy Ethan Hunt has to free dive into an underwater turbine to access a control panel. It’s harrowing stuff indeed, but watching him hold his face underwater for six straight minutes in this video from Access Hollywood is somehow even more impressive. And the fact that he just seems so casual is nuts, you’d have to hold me down.
This is far from the first time that Tom Cruise has pushed the boundaries of safety on a movie, hell, it’s not even the first time he’s done it on a Mission: Impossible movie. While shooting Ghost Protocol, the previous MI film, he actually fired the insurance company because they wouldn’t let him do that stunt where he dangled off of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building located in Dubai. They had to find another company that was willing to risk the loss of one of the biggest movie stars in the world because he wanted to make a stunt look awesome and as authentic as possible.
Even on Rogue Nation, in that scene where he clings to the side of an airplane as it takes off and circles around, he actually strapped himself to an airplane, which subsequently took off and circled around. And he apparently did it eight times. There’s a reason it looks so real, because it is.
And all this dedication has paid off, as Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation has made more than $670 million dollars worldwide, which is good enough to make it the sixth highest grossing movie so far this year. It’s also part of why this is one of the best reviewed action movies of 2015. And don’t expect this to be the last we see of Ethan Hunt in death defying situations, as another installment could go into production as early as next year. In the meantime, we’re sure Tom Cruise will continue to hurl himself off buildings and push his body to the edge for our amusement, and for that, we thank him.