Tom Cruise recalls scary near-death experience: 'I'm gonna die'

The Top Gun star opened up at Cannes Film Festival

Tom Cruise is notorious for performing his own stunts in his adrenaline-packed movies – and it appears his love of testing himself to the extreme started as a young child.

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The 59-year-old opened up about the terrifying near-death experience he faced when he was just four years old after he jumped off the roof of his home trying to imitate a parachuting doll he played with.

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Speaking at the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick at the Cannes Film Festival, Tom explained: "I think I was about four-and-a-half years old, and I had this doll, and you throw it up in the air and a parachute comes down. I played with this thing, and I'd throw it off a tree, and I was like, 'I really want to do this.'

"I remember taking the sheets off my bed, and I would tie a rope... and I climbed up to the eave, and I got up to the roof."

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He continued: "I looked and my mother was in the kitchen - she had four kids - and I jumped off the roof. It's that moment when you jump off the roof and you go, 'This is not gonna work. This is terrible. I'm gonna die.'

Tom has performed his own stunts for years

"And I hit the ground so hard. Luckily, it was wet." He added: "I don't know how it happened, but I figured out after that my face went past my feet as my ass hit the ground.

"And I saw stars in the daytime for the first time, and I remember looking up, going, 'This is very interesting.'"

Tom admitted that he was afraid of how his mother would react to his risky stunt as he said: "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, my mom's going to kill me', because the sheets were dirty."

Luckily, Tom found a way to turn his childhood exploits into a multi-million-dollar career, adding: "Now, here I am on a movie set... but I was the kid who would climb to the rafters or climb the tallest tree. I wanted that, I wanted to do that."

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