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Cruise “feared” falling from Burj Khalifa

(Staff Report) / 7 December 2011

DUBAI — Hollywood star Tom Cruise was back in Dubai on Wednesday for the premiere of ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ at the Dubai Film Festival, and said he feared falling off the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, while filming those breath-taking stunts.

“Fear of falling was the first thought that went through my head when I lunged out of that building,” Cruise said, recalling hanging 100 floors above the ground during the shoot. “I just really, really hoped I wouldn’t fall.”

“I trained for months on a four-storey structure before I could even attempt this stunt here,” he stated. “And when we did finally have our first take here, it saw me wearing a helmet and pads until I managed to get a feel for it.”

The fourth film in the series is directed by Brad Bird with Cruise reprising the role of Ethan Hunt. It also stars Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg.

“I literally had to figure a way to fly,” said Cruise. “Because even with months of training, I didn’t take into account the crosswinds at such an altitude and I had to keep using my legs as rudders to keep myself from slipping.”

The actor prepared for the physical role with hiking trips, mountaineering, riding motorcycles and flying planes.

But Bird said laughing: “I was scared I would go down in Hollywood as the man who killed his leading man.”

‘‘Tom was hanging out there getting the hang of things and I was sorting things out inside and completely forgot that he was out there, 100 floors up in the air.

“Suddenly, we saw a body flying into the air, disappearing outside our line of sight and a large bang; and I thought to myself, I killed Tom Cruise.”

The actor was all praise for the hospitality shown to him and the crew while filming in Dubai and also thanked His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“I would like to thank Shaikh Mohammed for the hospitality that has been extended to us here,” said Cruise. — news@khaleejtimes.com

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