Tom Cruise pushes himself so hard with his stunts because he “knows no boundaries”, the director of his latest film has said.
The Hollywood star recently broke his ankle while filming a scene for the next Mission: Impossible film, forcing the production to go on hiatus while he recovers.
A video of the accident showed him jumping from building to building on a London location for MI6 but missing his landing spot and slamming into a wall.
Cruise is famous for performing his own stunts, including on new film American Made, which reunites him with his Edge Of Tomorrow director Doug Liman.
The filmmaker told the Press Association: “Tom Cruise who knows no boundaries. I mean that guy is seriously ageing in reverse and the normal rules don’t apply to Tom Cruise.”
In American Made Cruise plays Barry Seal, a real TWA pilot who ended up flying planes for the CIA while also working as a drug smuggler.
Liman said: “I’m always trying to push myself, Barry Seal was like Icarus, he pushed himself, that is the tension of the story and there are some connections to Tom Cruise.”
He continued: “Barry Seal is this American cowboy who is flouting all the rules and in casting the role would you not necessarily think of Tom Cruise and that is why I loved the idea of going to Tom Cruise because I love taking the piss out of Tom.
“He’s this massive, giant movie star who plays a certain kind of role and I’m like ‘Let’s do the opposite,’ and Tom and I have so much trust and affection so lets poke fun at the movie star Tom Cruise and the one who flies the fighter jets in Top Gun and use crappier airplanes and let’s have you play a crappier character.
“I am a pilot and the idea of doing chase scenes with airplanes versus cars, I had never seen that before.
“I have a movie star who can actually pilot an airplane, who is a great pilot, we were going to have an opportunity here to do exciting flying sequences that people have never seen before.
“The kid in me was just excited to go out there and play with these airplanes.”
He continued: “So much of this movie spoke to me because I’m a pilot.
“My films have tended to challenge the rules and certainly the way I’ve made the films have infuriated the studios in terms of my rule-breaking and I was first drawn to this outrageous pilot who was completely abusing the system to become the largest drug smuggler in American history.
The film also had a family connection for Liman, who added: “American Made is really personal to me.
“First of all I fell in love when I was reading the script with the character of Barry Seal, this total outlaw flying for the CIA in the 80s and then towards the end of the script I realised, wait a second, I know this guy, I know this story because it’s actually a story my father investigated it.
“He was Chief Counsel at the United States Senate and this was actually part of Iran-Contra, which was, of the accomplishments in his life, was probably the most famous.”
American Made is released in UK cinemas on August 25.