How Tom Cruise, Not The Avengers, Taught Cobie Smulders About Stunts

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Cobie Smulders and Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is kind of an Avenger, though, right? Cobie Smulders has been playing Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since The Avengers in 2012. But she said it was working with Cruise on the 2016 movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back that taught her the most about stunt work.

Yeah, I mean when I worked with Tom [Cruise] on [Jack] Reacher, that was when I learned the most I had up until then about training, about fighting, about stunts, about how to do everything safely because he was such a pro at just doing everything correctly and really well.

So there you go -- the Jack Reacher sequel may have disappointed a lot of people, but give it credit for helping Cobie Smulders' action hero career.

Tom Cruise is now 57, but he's still well known for doing most of his own stunts -- plus countless running scenes. He has Top Gun: Maverick coming up, with a co-star calling him a great mentor on all things filmmaking. He is a pro at movie stunt work, even if it does get him injured sometimes.

Speaking of injuries, Cobie Smulders was talking to reporters (via Fox News) about her new ABC show Stumptown. She has to do a lot of physical work to play the character of Dex, but the fight scenes have yet to lead to injuries:

Everything about [my character] challenges me but that's what excites me. It doesn't make me afraid. I mean, it's physically wearing but you're not really getting hurt. If you if you're getting hurt, someone's not doing their job right.

Go ahead and tell that to Tom Cruise after he messed up that jump in Mission: Impossible - Fallout!

I don't know if you knew this, but Cobie Smulders is married to SNL alum Taran Killam and they have two daughters, born in 2009 and 2015. Smulders is now teaching them the Tom Cruise way on the Stumptown set:

I walk them through how to do stunts, how to make it look real but it's not really. ... I don't think they've seen an episode of How I Met Your Mother or anything from the Avengers. They're still really little and they don't see that on me in person. So I try to explain sort of the choreography involved and that actually is kind of – like it's funny to them.

Cobie Smulders was only in that one Jack Reacher sequel with Tom Cruise, but as far as we know she's not done as Maria Hill in the MCU. In addition to TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Maria has been in the MCU movies The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) even had surprise twists for their characters in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Back to Jack Reacher, though. Cobie Smulders played Major Susan Turner in Never Go Back, which was a sequel to Tom Cruise's 2012 movie Jack Reacher. I know the second one wasn't exactly embraced by fans and only made $162 million worldwide from its reported $60 production budget. But dagnabbit I like those Jack Reacher movies and I wouldn't say no to a third helping.

At the moment, Tom Cruise is busy with Mission: Impossible 7, which has a release date of July 23, 2021, and will be followed by Mission: Impossible 8 on August 5, 2022. Cruise also has Top Gun: Maverick coming out next summer on June 26, 2020. Cobie Smulders has Stumptown, which is pretty great and very stunt-heavy so far -- it airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.