Tom Cruise was a real-life hero on The Mummy set
Tom Cruise and co-star Annabelle Wallis conquer 'vomit comet' for The Mummy
In one scene in the upcoming reboot of action-horror movie The Mummy, Tom Cruise and his co-star Annabelle Wallis are in a plane diving towards earth.
This is Cruise, so of course the scene is real - as in, he and Wallis got into a plane, and had that plane dive for 22 seconds as the actors were in zero gravity.
And they did this 64 times.
"I like to challenge myself," the 54-year-old Hollywood star told media in Taiwan yesterday, ahead of the movie's release in Singapore on June 8.
His presence in the new Mummy movie makes it less of a charming romp through the desert and more Mission: Impossible-meets-zombies.
Cruise plays soldier of fortune Nick, whose adventures near present-day Mosul, Iraq, lead him to the tomb of princess Ahmanet, played by Algeria-born actress Sofia Boutella. Brought back to life as a mummy, Ahmanet wreaks havoc on London, while Nick and Egyptologist Jenny (Wallis) chase her.
Cruise is known for doing his own stunts, so it is no surprise the plane sequence was his idea.
"I thought it was going to be CGI, but then Tom says 'No, we're doing it for real!'" said director Alex Kurtzman.
Planes used for this stunt are nicknamed "vomit comets", because of how the body reacts once it gets out of zero gravity.
"We didn't (vomit), but that's only because I was trying to keep up with Tom," said Wallis, who is 32.
Cruise admitted that he "expects a lot" from everyone.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself because I think of the audience," he said. "I want everyone on set to take ownership of what they're doing in the movie, even the catering guy."
Cruise just confirmed the Top Gun sequel, and also told media that he is shooting the sixth Mission: Impossible film.
It will have "pretty extreme" stunts he has been "thinking about for 10 years and preparing intensely for almost two".
Said Cruise: "I'm always pushing myself, so I'm always looking for different ways to entertain."
If it sounds like working with Cruise is hazardous, his Mummy co-stars said he is the most prepared and most responsible person on set.
Boutella, 32, said Cruise would be around, even when he wasn't filming with her, to check the safety of the harnesses and whether pillars were padded so she would not get hurt. Wallis recounted a moment when a strap was around her neck and about to choke her.
"I shouted to Tom and then I heard him going, 'Don't worry Annabelle, I got you!'" she said as she re-enacted his heroics.
"I think for Tom it's quite stressful because when he's around and anything happens, you expect him to come (and rescue you)."