How Tom Cruise Saved Elisabeth Shue’s Life

How Tom Cruise Saved Elisabeth Shue’s Life


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Tom Cruise walks on set of “Mission Impossible : Lybra” in 2020.

Tom Cruise has made a career out of playing heroic characters. It seems like not much acting may be involved, as the 58-year-old is no stranger to saving others in real life.

The Sun reported that Cruise prevented his co-star Elisabeth Shue from dying while filming the 1988 movie “Cocktails.” According to the publication, Bill Bennett, ASC, detailed the event on “a Facebook group called Crew Stories.” Bennet, who was the film’s aerial camera operator, stated that the crew was shooting a “scene from a helicopter” that involved Shue and Cruise’s characters horseback riding on a beach.

“We were shooting film, but I had a video recorder in the helicopter to record the camera’s video tap images. After a couple takes, the pilot would land the helicopter on the beach, and Tom and Elisabeth would come over to watch the shot recordings and get notes from the director. The only monitor was at my operating position in the left front seat of the helicopter,” explained Bennet.


Elisabeth Shue Did Not Realize She was In Danger

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Getty Elisabeth Shue is photographed at the “Battle of the Sexes”  Los Angeles Premiere in 2017.

Bennet stated that even when the helicopter was not in the air, its “tail rotor [was] spinning.” The Director of Photography noted that the “rotor is invisible when it is spinning” and if someone were to “walk into it,” they would immediately die. Unfortunately, Shue did not realize that she could potentially be in danger.

“So, after we had landed for the second or third time, Tom and Elisabeth came over, I opened the side door of the helicopter and they leaned in to watch the shot on the monitor,” wrote Bennet. “The director gave them a couple notes, and Elisabeth, getting quite excited, took off suddenly, running towards the back of the helicopter.”

When Bennet realized what was happening, he yelled “stop.” Thankfully, Cruise was able to rescue her before any damage could be done.

“Tom is a pilot, rated in both airplanes and helicopters, and instantly saw the danger. He lunged after her, but only was able grab her legs, tackling her to the ground,” recalled Bennet.


Elisabeth Shue Was Reportedly Upset That Cruise Tackled Her

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Getty Elisabeth Shue strikes a pose in a black dress at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

In the post, Bennet noted that Shue’s immediate reaction to being tackled by Cruise was to angrily yell, “Why did you do that?” Cruise reportedly responded by “screaming at that she almost died,” which caused her to lose color in her face. The co-stars “walked away” from the terrifying incident unscathed.

“All of us in the helicopter, we’re quite shaken up by the close call, but there was nothing to be said. Tom had, in that instant, truly saved her life,” asserted Bennet.

The cinematographer noted that the close call occurred in the late 1980s, and “mandatory safety meetings were not commonly done.”

“If it were the current day, there would’ve been a very formal safety meeting that would take place before the helicopter ever arrived, discussing all the dangers of working around helicopters,” revealed Bennet.

The Sun reported that Cruise verified the tale after it was shown to him by Christopher McQuarrie, the director of “Mission: Impossible 7.” The film, which stars Cruise, is set to be released in 2022.

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