The Mission: Impossible Cast Always Worries Tom Cruise's Next Stunt Will Be His Last

Ever since the "Mission: Impossible" franchise was rebooted with 2011's "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," the action-adventure franchise has been obsessed with raising the bar on itself. Whether it's running down the side of the Burj Khalifa, or a high octane helicopter battle over New Zealand, star Tom Cruise is fully committed to doing all of his own stunts. Whether it is Cruise's strong, personal dedication to cinema or a severe death wish (or both), one has to assume the people in his life are worried about him.

According to interviews with his "Mission: Impossible" co-stars, it is indeed true that the cast and crew is never numb to the scale of Cruise's stunt work, and there's always a looming fear that one of our last genuine movie stars might not make it out alive.

For Tom Cruise's co-stars, there is no guarantee he will be safe

In a virtual interview with Conan O'Brien, Simon Pegg (who plays Ethan's guy in the chair, Benji) emphasized that if a stunt looks crazy to the fans, it is even crazier for those who witness Cruise's stunts on set.

"When you watch him do it, there is some genuine form of peril because you know it is him, but you know he survives because you see him on 'Good Morning America' doing some press. When we watch him do it, we have no idea if he's going to survive ... Tom Cruise is terrifying. The stuff Tom does, that's not adrenaline, that's some other hormone you only secrete right before you die."

Pegg stressed that Cruise is still a perfectionist and will spend as much time as possible researching and training for a stunt beforehand. While it may not seem like it, Cruise has his limits and he will not attempt a stunt if he doesn't think he can pull it off. While Cruise prepared for his low-altitude helicopter chase in New Zealand for "Mission: Impossible — Fallout", Pegg needed to depart back to London after filming his portions of the film. Before then, Pegg and Cruise shared a heart to heart: "I said goodbye to Tom, and there was a real kind of, 'well, good luck!' not knowing if he was going to survive the next ten days."

Dead Reckoning features Tom Cruise's most dangerous stunt yet

Cruise's leading lady, Rebecca Ferguson shared those same concerns observing some of the helicopter stunts in "Fallout," including one where Cruise loses his grip on a rope and falls onto a cargo hold, nearly plummeting down a steep canyon valley. To her horror, Ferguson did not notice Cruise's safety harness as he did the stunt: "I heard myself scream. I actually thought he fell." Cruise would go on to perform this exact stunt again for four more takes.

In the upcoming instalment, "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part I," there is one moment featured in the trailer that even Cruise himself is dubbing the "most dangerous" stunt of his career: riding a motorcycle off a cliff and deploying a parachute just about 100 feet away from the ground. Cruise explained, "I had about six seconds once I departed the ramp to pull the chute and I don't want to get tangled in the bike. If I do, that's not going to end well."

In a recent interview with Soho House, Pegg was asked a playful question about whether James Bond or "Mission: Impossible" reigned as the supreme blockbuster franchise, and then opened up about the authenticity of a "Mission: Impossible" film:

"Because I'm biased, I think 'Mission' pips it a little bit, as everything you see, he does for real. There are no stunt doubles for him. There's a frisson you get when there's authenticity: the idea that this guy is actually jumping off a cliff on a motorbike and deploying the parachute 100 feet from the ground? It puts the willies up you."

Stuntwork is forever part of Tom Cruise's persona

Cruise's dedication to stunt work has become a trademark of his career. When he's not Ethan Hunt, he's flying military grade jets in front of IMAX cameras for "Top Gun: Maverick," or hurling himself in zero gravity for a scene in "The Mummy." Though it may seem as though Cruise is undefeatable, he hasn't come out of every stunt in his career unscathed.

Famously, "Mission: Impossible — Fallout" halted production after Cruise broke his ankle while attempting rooftop parkour. It is far from his most extreme stunt, but his injury was highly publicized and talked about throughout the film's release — with good reason. While Ethan Hunt and Tom Cruise have melted into one death-defying persona, his injury marked a rare moment of vulnerability for the actor. For a moment, we all saw Cruise in the way his co-stars do.