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

The Top Gun star opened up at Cannes Film Festival

tom cruise near death experience

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 cruise stunts© Photo: Getty Images

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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