Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol premieres tonight in Dubai and Cruise-mania has taken a tight grip of the emirate. Fans are already lining up on the red carpet to see the mega star who has been happily gushing about his blissful memories of working on the film in the UAE. Here, Tom Cruise reveals his top UAE moments and talks about the heart-stopping MI4 stunts that our nation has been waiting to see...
Why did you decide to film in Dubai?
As an actor I get to fulfil the dream of travelling the world and having different adventures. I remember when this city was being built and I was looking at photographs of it - I’ve been watching it for a very long time. I was very excited to have the opportunity to film here. It’s an incredibly beautiful, modern, cinematic city, and part of the aim of MI4 is celebrating the locations we film at.
What do you tell your insurance company when you’re doing stunts as crazy as the ones in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol?
I remember the first safety briefing we had and the stunt co-ordinators said, “Look Tom, I just had a five-hour meeting with the safety officer and they want everyone to wear parachutes.” And I said, “Well then, we need a new safety officer, so go find us another safety officer who’s going to say it’s OK.”
It’s funny because the insurance guys, they say I can’t ride motorcycles or fly my aeroplanes, but it’s alright to go off the side of Burj Khalifa. I can’t work out the logic in that, but we just say we’re going to do it – and we do it. We just don’t send some of the footage back to the studio for a few days – we just delay it and by that point we’re finished.
Is there anything you are afraid of?
Falling. I wasn’t afraid of heights – I was afraid of falling.
How does your wife Katie feel about you doing all of these insane, death-defying stunts?
Katie knows I climb and hike and fly planes and all of that, and she’s like, go do your work, and she’s very supportive and helpful. You know for me, I couldn’t do what I do without her.
What would you guys like next – a boy or a girl?
I think you would have to ask my wife that.
Tell us about your favourite times in Dubai.
I remember the first night we got here – we went to a water park and then snowboarding. I knew we wouldn’t have any days off, so the second day we hit the water park. Later that evening there was a wonderful party that His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum threw for us.
I really love being on a movie set – I’m not the guy who hangs out in his trailer. We had so much fun out in these magnificent locations, shooting in Burj Khalifa, out in the sandstorm, shooting at Zabeel Saray. There's a great joy in creating and making movies. I love that. Being in such exotic locations, where we just couldn’t believe we’re here, we had so many great moments.
What was your favourite moment?
On my last night I went out to the dessert and I got to ride camels as the sun was setting – it was really magical. There are just so many moments that I’ll never forget.