If Tom Cruise was a motivational speaker, like the role he played in Magnolia, his advice would range from “don’t be a p*ssy” to “lean into the douchebaggery of it all” to “don’t be safe, be competent.” He’s like an athlete who you love if he’s on your team, and hate if he’s anywhere else. As an enjoyer of middle-aged men performing impossibly dangerous stunts, I cherish any new Tom Cruise tale, like this one from Matt Damon.
“I remember I had dinner with him once, and it was after he did the [Mission: Impossible] where he ran around the building,” he said on Max’s SmartLess: On the Road, referring to the Burj Khalifa sequence in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. “And I go, ‘Can you tell me how that happened?’ And he’s a really intense guy, and he was like, ‘I’ll tell you how it happened!’ I go, ‘Alright.’ And I’m in.” Matt Damon has initiated Tom Cruise story protocol.
“He goes, ‘I’ve been thinking about this shot for 15 years!’ And I’m like, ‘Wow, really?’ He goes, ‘So I go to the safety guy, and I lay it all out.’ Safety guy goes, ‘We can’t do that. It’s too dangerous, you can’t do that. So I get a new safety guy.’ That’s the beginning of his story. And I just go, ‘Stop!’ That’s where we’re different. When the safety guy says no, I’m like, ‘Well, safety guy says it’s not a good idea.’”
It’s worth reiterating: thank you for your service, Tom Cruise, but you do not need to do this. Anyway, stay tuned for Mission: Impossible 8 where Ethan Hawke swims to the bottom of the ocean without a diving tank.
I’ll be there opening night.