Tom Cruise jumped off a roof when he was just four years old.
The 'Top Gun: Maverick' actor famously does his own stunts in his movies and he revealed his daredevil tendencies emerged at a very young age, and even though he recalled fearing he was "gonna die" when he made his first leap, it didn't put him off for good.
Speaking during a panel discussion at the premiere of 'Top Gun: Maverick' at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday (18.05.22), he said: "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.
"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 a** hit the ground. And I saw stars in the daytime for the first time, and I remember looking up, going, 'This is very interesting.' "
But the 59-year-old star was afraid of how his mother would react to his risky stunt.
He added: "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, my mom's going to kill me' because the sheets were dirty.' "
The 'Mission: Impossible' star admitted he always wanted to figure out how to work his childhood exploits into his future career.
He said: "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?"
And stunts aren't the only skills Tom has pushed himself to master for the sake of his career.
He said: "Even if I wasn't working on a movie, I was studying film, I was pushing myself to learn different skills. I was like, 'I'm going to put this in a movie one day.' So I'd take dance lessons and put it into Les Grossman [in 'Tropic Thunder'], or 'Rock of Ages', and take singing lessons so I had the skills.
"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."
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