As the Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One star pulls off film history’s biggest stunt, here's a look at other actors who don’t use stunt doubles
Tom Cruise, Jackie Chan, Akshay Kumar and Ajith get a rush from doing their own stunts
Tom Cruise has done it again! The Hollywood star has yet again performed a thrilling high-octane himself, without any stunt double, for another Mission: Impossible film — the seventh instalment, titled Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One. Ahead of the release of the film, the actor uploaded a video on his social media pages of one action sequence — a chase scene in which Cruise jumps off a cliff while riding a motorcycle, which he called “the most dangerous thing we’ve ever attempted”.
Here’s a look at some other actors from Hollywood and India who have performed some death-defying stunts all by themselves for their films:
Jackie Chan: Jackie Chan is known to perform all his stunts himself. And considering that all his films have a generous dose of action, Chan has appeared in innumerable action sequences throughout his long, illustrious career. Perhaps the most death-defying of the stunts was for his 1985 film Police Story, in which Chan slides down a pole covered with lights that explode while he is on his way down. He ends the sequence by falling through a glass pane. Chan ended up sustaining second-degree burns on his palms.
Akshay Kumar: Perhaps one of the most daring actors in India, Akshay ‘Khiladi’ Kumar has performed several stunts from his movies on his own. The most popular of them is when he stood on the top of an aeroplane while it was mid-air in Khiladi 420 (2000). Akshay has also hung off a helicopter without a harness in Sooryavanshi (2021), jumped through a ring of fire and burning his legs in Singh is Bling (2015), jumped off a 160-feet high cliff in 8*10 Tasveer (2009), and jumped between two elevators that were 110 feet above ground, without any harness or safety net, in Singh Is Kinng (2008).
Tom Cruise: Mission: Impossible seems to bring out the daredevil in Tom Cruise. For Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015), Cruise performed numerous stunts, such as dangling from a cliff, and climbing the walls of the Vatican and the Burj Khalifa. But probably the most deadly of them all was in the opening scene — in which he is seen dangling from the side of a propeller plane which zooms off at triple-digit speeds. All that Cruise had to keep him safe was a harness.
Angelina Jolie: For her 2010 action film Salt, Angelina Jolie performed most of the stunts herself. The most daring was probably the action sequence in which Jolie, who plays a CIA agent, jumps off a bridge, lands on top of one truck, then jumps on top of two more moving trucks. She then goes on to jack a motorcycle and zips off between several vehicles. All of this was done by Jolie herself.
Vidyut Jamwal: Trained in martial arts, Vidyut Jamwal has performed several thrilling action sequences himself in all his films. For Commando: A One Man Army (2013), Vidyut performed hand-to-hand combat, depth jumps, mid-air splits and somersaults, flip punches and impact attacks all by himself. No cables or computer graphics were used for all the stunts in the film, except for one, which sees Vidyut dive into a valley.
Jason Statham: For his 2006 action film Crank, Jason Statham, who plays a British assassin, shot an action sequence 2,000 feet above downtown L.A., on a helicopter landing skid, nonetheless. Statham’s character had to fight off a villain while up in the air, before free falling towards what’s supposed to be their deaths. All that kept the actor safe mid-air was a small belt and a thin wire. Statham reportedly wanted to do this stunt by himself because he thought that relying on CGI would make it look too fake.
Ajay Devgn: The son of a stunt choreographer (Veeru Devgan), Ajay Devgn has been doing his own stunts from the very beginning of his film career. Who can forget the iconic entry he made in his debut film, Phool Aur Kaante (1991)? Ajay performed a split while on top of two moving motorcycles. He went on to do a variation of the same stunt in some of his other films as well. In 2006's Golmaal, Ajay is seen doing the same stunt, but with two cars. He repeated this in De De Pyaar De (2019). For the 2012 release Son of Sardaar, Ajay recreated the stunt on two horses. He even performed the stunt on two trucks for a Mahindra ad.
Tiger Shroff: Tiger Shroff is among the fittest actors in Bollywood and the actor never shies away from performing his own stunts in films. One such was the high-octane helicopter stunt in the 2018 action film Baaghi 2. The scene that has two army helicopters was shot in the jungles of Krabi in Thailand. Tiger had to run towards a helicopter in motion and jump into it, which he revealed was difficult because the force of the wind caused by the chopper blades was so high that he worried that the pressure might push him back while he took the leap.
Ajith: Tamil superstar Ajith is known for his love of bikes and racing. The actor sure loves an adrenaline rush, which is why he has chosen to perform stunts by himself in many of his films. This includes a car chasing scene in Billa (2007), Mankatha (2011) and Yennai Arindhaal (2015). He even performed thrilling bike scenes in Mankatha and Vivegam (2017) and Valimai (2022).