Tom Cruise Held His Breath for 6.5 Minutes for ‘Mission: Impossible 5’ Scene


Cruise Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Underwater
Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Photo: Paramount Pictures

I’m in the bag for Tom Cruise, I will see pretty much any movie he’s in for the sole fact he’s in it. People talk about how he isn’t necessarily a great actor, or how his off-screen persona rubs them the wrong way, or how his religious beliefs are Looney Tunes, but I disagree with the first and I don’t care about the second or third. For my money, Cruise is still the best action star we’ve got, a guy throws his entire being into what he does by doing the majority of his own stunts and wowing us — or at least me — in the process.

In the first trailer for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, all the talk was about Cruise hanging off the side of an Airbus A400M plane during takeoff. With the release of the second trailer yesterday, the discussion has shifted from Cruise hanging off a plane to Cruise hanging out underwater — which he did for six-and-a-half minutes, not bad for a guy whose trade doesn’t normally involve holding his breath underwater. “It’s something I have always wanted to do,” Cruise told USA Today. “[Director Christopher McQuarrie] and I have been thinking about it since working on Edge of Tomorrow.”

Cruise worked extensively with Kirk Krack, a prolific freediving trainer and coach, to learn how to hold his breath underwater for extended periods of time. Working on films like Rogue Nation requires working with experts and stunt people at the very top of their field, according to Cruise, a smart move given what he and McQuarrie wanted out of the sequence featured at the beginning of the trailer.

I have done a lot of underwater sequences. But we wanted to create a suspense underwater sequence without cuts. So doing that sequence was really interesting. We’re underwater and we’re doing breath-holds of six to six-and-a-half minutes. So I was doing all my training with the other stuff [on-set]. It was very taxing stuff.

At this point I’m not sure what Cruise could possibly do next to continue one-upping himself, but I’m looking forward to him figuring it out and putting it on display for us on the big screen in his next outing. If you haven’t done so, check out the latest trailer for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation below, which features a short tease of Cruise’s underwater sequence. While you do that, I’m gonna go see how long I can hold my own breath, wish me luck.

You can see snippets of the underwater stunt in the first half of the second trailer directly below.