This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed
Cruise is nothing more than a real-life action hero. The 58-year-old still does all of his own stunts on the Mission: Impossible franchise, showcasing his fearlessness on such feats as scaling the Burj Khalifa, jumping out of airplanes and riding a jet on the outside of its wings. It has now been revealed the star actually prevented the freak-accidental death of his Cocktail co-star Shue in 1988 during filming.
Bill Bennett ASC, an aerial camera operator who worked on the raunchy movie, revealed the story in a Facebook group.
According to The Sun, Bennett said: “I witnessed Tom Cruise save Elisabeth Shue’s life, for real.
“We were filming the scene from a helicopter, where Tom and Elisabeth are riding horses along the beach. We were shooting film, but I had a video recorder in the helicopter to record the camera’s video tap images.
“After a couple takes, the pilot would land the helicopter on the beach, and Tom and Elisabeth would come over to watch the shot recordings and get notes from the director. The only monitor was at my operating position in the left front seat of the helicopter.”
Bennett explained the helicopter’s engine would remain on between takes and both the overhead rota and the tail rota would keep spinning, creating a dangerous scenario.
He went on: “It was also quite loud, and you had to shout to be heard over the noise of the engine. You have to know, when you are working around helicopters, that the area at the back of the helicopter, where the tail rotor is spinning, is deadly.
“The rotor is invisible when it is spinning, and if you walk into it, it will kill you instantly. It is a totally ‘no go’ area when working around helicopters.”
Disaster struck when Shue presumably forgot this golden rule between a subsequent take on the beach.
Bennett went on: “So, after we had landed for the second or third time, Tom and Elisabeth came over, I opened the side door of the helicopter and they leaned in to watch the shot on the monitor.
“The director gave them a couple notes, and Elisabeth, getting quite excited, took off suddenly, running towards the back of the helicopter. Just at that same moment that Tom saw where Elisabeth was going.”
Cruise didn’t waste a second and jumped into action, the camera operator revealed. He said: “Tom is a pilot, rated in both airplanes and helicopters, and instantly saw the danger. He lunged after her, but only was able grab her legs, tackling her to the ground.
“He rolled her over, dragging her at the same time, and you could see the momentary anger on her face while she was yelling: ‘Why did you do that?’ But by that time he is pointing at the tail rotor which is now a couple feet away, screaming at her that she almost died.”
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Bennett explained Shue “turned white” when she realised what had almost happened to her.
He added: “All of us in the helicopter were quite shaken up by the close call, but there was nothing to be said. Tom had, in that instant, truly saved her life.”
He also explained how today this almost-tragedy would not have happened, as a formal safety meeting would have been carried out before the helicopter ever arrived.
In a surprising turn of events, writer Mike Timm saw the story and took it to Mission: Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie, who showed it to Cruise recently.
Timm told Bennett: “I sent this post to Christopher McQuarrie, who’s working with Tom on [Mission: Impossible 7]. He loved the story and, of course, Tom confirmed it.”
Cruise is still taking on crazy stunts in the latest film in the bombastic franchise.
Director McQuarrie’s latest image of Cruise shows him literally hanging off of a train in Yorkshire, England.
Mission: Impossible 7 is due out in cinemas May 27, 2022.
Cocktail is available on Disney Plus now.