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Tom Cruise gave two hikers quite the spectacle.
A husband-and-wife pair, Jason and Sarah Haygarth, recently told Extra about encountering the movie star while on a walk at a "very remote" and "quite hilly" U.K. national park called Lake District with their dog. They noticed that there were helicopters over one area, which was unusual.
"Toward the end of the walk, last peak, we start seeing helicopters coming up a ravine and dropping people off the top… We were like, this didn't seem right," Jason told the outlet. "We found out the people, they were the cameramen. When we came to the peak, we got stopped by what must have been a production team member, saying, 'You can't go. We're going to land the helicopter off the top…' So we took a selfie."
It turned out Cruise, 60, was filming one of his daring stunt sequences for his upcoming Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning.
After Sarah and Jason got the all clear to continue their hike, the couple stumbled on Cruise "strapping himself into a paraglider."
"I could tell it was him straight away," Sarah told Extra. "By the time we got there, people were talking about Mission: Impossible was being filmed … but I was expecting a stunt double."
"He apologized first for the noise. 'Sorry, guys, I know we spoiled your walk with the noise,' " Jason said Cruise told them. Added Sarah, "And then he said, 'I like your dog.' "
Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty
"We asked, 'What are you doing?' Then he said, 'I'm going to jump off.' I was like, 'You're going to do what?' He said, 'I'm going to jump off,' " Jason recounted. "... Just before he jumped off, he said, 'See ya! Hopefully this goes well,' and we said, 'Good luck, Tom.' " The Sun shared footage of Cruise jumping from the cliff for the stunt scene.
"I think I was about 4½ years old, and I had this doll, and you throw it up in the air and a parachute comes down. I played with this thing, and I'd throw it off a tree, and I was like, 'I really want to do this.' I remember taking the sheets off my bed, and I would tie a rope ... and I climbed up to the eave, and I got up to the roof. I looked and my mother was in the kitchen — she had four kids — and I jumped off the roof," he recalled.
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"It's that moment when you jump off the roof and you go, 'This is not gonna work. This is terrible. I'm gonna die.' And I hit the ground so hard. Luckily, it was wet. I don't know how it happened, but I figured out after that my face went past my feet as my ass hit the ground. And I saw stars in the daytime for the first time, and I remember looking up, going, 'This is very interesting.' "
Reflecting on how his stuntman skills have improved over time, Cruise added, "Now, here I am on a movie set ... but I was the kid who would climb to the rafters or climb the tallest tree. I wanted that, I wanted to do that, and how do I develop these skills and make it part of the story and character?"
As for why he performs his own stunts, the actor joked, "No one asked Gene Kelly, 'Why do you dance? Why do you do your dancing? Why do you do your own singing?' If I do a musical, I want to sing and I want to dance. And I want to see how I can do it."
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, the franchise's seventh installment, is in theaters July 14, 2023.