Tom Cruise tested by M:I IV stunts
Los Angeles - Tom Cruise was pushed to the limit while filming stunts for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.
Director Brad Bird preferred to use real action sequences rather than rely on special effects for the movie and says the star was so committed to his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt he was happy to "dangle" from the world's tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
He told Entertainment Weekly magazine: "It was a very challenging shoot. It's a big film and we had to move around a lot. We were doing a lot of physical effects live - we weren't using special effects. And so it was physically a real challenge.
"He did dangle! That's not a special effect."
Brad is well known for his animated movies including The Incredibles and while he loves the medium, it was a relief to direct his first live-action feature because there is less planning involved.
He said: "The wonderful thing about animation is you have absolute control over every frame. The nightmare of animation is that you have absolute control over every frame.
Lightning in a bottle
"Literally, you have to decide upon everything, and you don't get anything for free. You have to discuss what kind of trees, is it a rail yard, how wide are the tracks, are the tracks new or old?
"The amount of planning you have to do is just jaw-dropping. With live-action, you're trying to catch little moments of lightning in a bottle. In animation you're trying to do that too, but you're doing it one volt at a time."
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - also known as Mission: Impossible IV - also stars Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway and Jeremy Renner.