Tom Cruise continues do the impossible when it comes to movie stunts.
He’s not afraid to push his body to the limit to get a shot, and while filming Mission: Impossible — Fallout, he even broke his ankle while performing a stunt that involved leaping from one building to another and taking off running (and yes, he still got the shot).
Beyond that ankle injury, Fallout involved another stunt that was even more risky: a HALO jump, something he’d been wanting to do for years and became the first actor to capture on camera.
As a new behind-the-scenes video explains, the “high-altitude, low-open” skydive required intense preparation to ensure Cruise’s safety, from designing a special helmet (part prop, part life-saving device) to building one of the world’s largest wind tunnels for rehearsal.
To get the shot, Cruise inhaled pure oxygen for 20 minutes on the ground to avoid decompression sickness and then threw himself out of a plane at 25,000 feet. Making things more challenging, the filmmakers only had one chance a day to get the shot because it was a nighttime sequence, filmed as close to sunset as possible. With Cruise and the cameraman plunging at 200 mph, everything had to be on point.
As one of the filmmakers says in the video, “There’s always a ticking clock in filming a movie, but it’s not usually the Earth flying up towards you.”
Watch the video above for more. Mission: Impossible — Fallout opens July 27.