Tom Cruise is a hero on the big screen and in real life. A new report from The Sun (via NME) reveals Cruise saved his co-star Elisabeth Shue’s life during the production of the 1988 comedy “Cocktail.” The film’s aerial camera operator Bill Bennett wrote about the incident recently on Facebook, and Cruise reportedly confirmed the story to his “Mission: Impossible” director Christopher McQuarrie. The Sun’s report followed a story from over the weekend in which Cruise was spotted saving a cameraman from falling off a train during a stunt on the production of the latest “Mission: Impossible” movie.
“We were filming the scene from a helicopter, where Tom and Elisabeth are riding horses along the beach,” Bennett writes in his post. “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.”
Bennett explains that the tail rotor at the back of the helicopter appears invisible as it spins, adding, “If you walk into it, it will kill you instantly.” After Cruise and Shue watched playback of a scene on the monitor, Shue “took off suddenly, running towards the back of the helicopter.”
“Tom is a pilot, rated in both airplanes and helicopters, and instantly saw the danger,” the camera operator continues. “He lunged after her, but only was able to grab her legs, tackling her to the ground…At that point she turned white, and he pulled her back towards the front of the helicopter and they walked away. 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.”
Directed by Roger Donaldson, “Cocktail” stars Cruise as a young New York City business student who takes up bartending. The movie was an infamous critical flop for Cruise during the early part of his career, and it was named the Razzie Award winner for Worst Picture of the Year. “Cocktail” still pulled in just over $170 million at the worldwide box office. And at least it gave the world the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo.”
Head over to The Sun’s website to read more about Cruise saving Shue’s life.