Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ Stunts Gave Costar Simon Pegg the ‘Willies’

by Taylor Cunningham

Tom Cruise’s death-defying stunt work may look great on camera. But for his costars, watching him pull off the moves can be a bit terrifying.

Cruise has become famous for doing all of his own stunt work in recent years. And he’s used his talents for movies like Mission Impossible and Top Gun: Maverick.

While many actors give Cruise props for his lasting mortality, some have to close their eyes during filming, especially his MI costar Simon Pegg.

“There’s a frisson you get when there’s authenticity: the idea that this guy is actually jumping off a cliff on a motorbike and deploying the parachute 100 feet from the ground? It puts the willies up you,” he told the Soho House website.

The comments came after the publication asked Pegg about the ongoing fan battle between the James Bond and Mission: Impossible franchises.

In Pegg’s opinion, both secret agent stories are impressive. But Cruise’s extra commitment to stunt work sets his movies ahead of the competition. And he believes other people may see it the same way.

“Because I’m biased, I think Mission pips it a little bit, as everything you see, he does for real. There are no stunt doubles for him.”

Tom Cruise Made His ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Co-Stars Go Through Stunt Training

And Tom Cruise doesn’t stop at doing his own stunt work, he also makes his fellow actors step up to the challenge. At least, that’s what he did while filming Top Gun: Maverick.

Before production began on the follow-up to the 1986 Top Gun, he had all of his co-stars go through rigorous three-month training with the U.S. Navy and the Top Gun School. That way, the on-screen pilots could man their own F-18s.

And the officers gave no one special treatment while preparing the actors for the task.

“The Navy says if you eject, you have to be able to survive in the water,” Cruise said in a Paramount promo video. “So we had to go through a challenging underwater program.”

But the training didn’t stop there. Miles Teller, Jay Ellis, Glen Powell, and the rest of the guys also had to learn how to film themselves while shooting through the air at Mach 10.

As director Joseph Kosinski shared that he had to teach the actors how to do his job as well.

“Because when they’re up in the jet, they have to direct themselves, essentially,” he shared. “I had to teach them cinematography and the lighting. So that they understood what’s gonna look good on camera.”