Movies

Tom Cruise takes to the skies again with American Made

No CGI used in American Made as Cruise pilots a plane and does his own stunts

In American Made, Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge Of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for an international action caper based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of Barry Seal, a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1980s to run one of the biggest covert operations in US history.

Once the hotshot airman gets caught up in a shadowy division of the government - running crates of AK-47s and kilos of cocaine - he makes a fortune as a key player in the Iran-Contra affair.

From trading arms for hostages to training forces of Central and South American kingpins, Barry becomes an improbable hero working against the system. Cruise answers questions about the movie that opens here tomorrow.

On what drew him to the character

Barry Seal's a great pilot.

He's someone who really loves his family and wants an adventurous life.

He is very much an anti-hero.

I don't condone the things that he did but there's wish fulfilment, you know, someone who lives beyond rules and in a way that was very unique to that time period.

On director Doug Liman

One of the many things I admire about Doug Liman - as a filmmaker he really does not create the same kind of film twice.

He is constantly pushing the edges, exploring different tones and different kinds of movies.

Neither one of us had made a film like this before.

On working with Doug Liman throughout the production

All the flying is practical, there's no CGI.

I did all the flying. You see me put the thing on autopilot and walk to the back of the airplane - that's exactly what happened.

Doug and I even flew to Colombia. We went out to the jungles and camped out so that we could get shots. Literally, Doug and I slept in a tent.

We had the airplanes on the runway, we flew out the fuel and we just filmed from early morning till late at night - that was the only way we could get those shots.

On the practical approach to the aviation in the film

We wanted to shoot all the flying practically and that really is the only way we could do it because we didn't have the budget for visual effects.

We put restrictions on ourselves - this is what this film should cost and this is the box that we need to fit into.

We're shooting it subjectively - you are inside that airplane, outside that airplane, seeing me move and fly all those moves.

Every frame of it is me flying.

I think that because Doug is a pilot, he knows how to shoot the plane, he knows what it feels like being a pilot.

This is very much who Barry Seal is and what this world is.

On what interests him in filmmaking

I don't make a movie just to make a movie, that's not what interests me.

What interests me is the passion of the cinema and the passion of storytelling. That's when it gets very exciting.

It's not just a job. I love this too much and I want to push myself, I want people that have that same sensibility.

We have to be willing to experience going into the unknown at times and that's what this film was like on many levels.

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