Hollywood is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to making action sequences seem real on the silver screen. Over the years, many actors have opted to do their own stunts instead of using a stun-double, and Tom Cruise is one of them. But did you know the Mission: Impossible actor almost lost his life while doing so?
The actor, who is known for his daredevil stunts in several action films, once was almost beheaded while filming a scene involving swords and riding mechanical horses. Wondering which film we are talking about? Well, it is Tom’s 2003 American epic period action drama The Last Samurai. Read on to know the whole incident.
While filming The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise came within inches of death when a stunt went wrong on the set of the movie. The incident saw him (as he wanted to do the stunt himself) and Japanese co-star Hiroyuki Sanada acting out a scene when they faced a technical fault that nearly led to tragedy. For the scene, the two men were approaching one another on mechanical horses and Sanada’s horse was meant to stop a split second before he swung his sword at Cruise’s head.
But the mechanism failed and the horse carried on towards Tom Cruise. The Hollywood star’s life was saved by Sanada’s expert martial arts skills. The Daily Mail once reported the Mission: Impossible star talking about the same by saying, “One day we were shooting, I was on a mechanical horse and Hiro was on one too. He was approaching me and then suddenly his horse hit me and his sword was right here (points an inch from his neck). Luckily Hiro is trained in martial arts. I trust him.”
As reported by Loopers, Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada also once spoke about co-star Tom Cruise’s near-death experience on the sets of The Last Samurai. He said, “Tom’s neck was right in front of me, and I tried to stop swinging my sword, but it was hard to control with one hand.” The actor added, “The film crew watching from the side all screamed because they thought Tom’s head would fly off.”
In The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise played Captain Nathan Algren, a disillusioned American Civil War veteran hired to train Japan’s first modern conscript army in the late 19th century. For the part, he trained for eight months and a further four months researching Samurai history. Cruise was also nominated for a Golden Globe for this role.
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