The action star is known for performing many of his own movie stunts, which have taken him to the top of the world's tallest building in Dubai and the side of Utah's Dead Horse Point canyon.

In his new film, Cruise clings to the side of an Airbus A400 plane while ascending in the air.

Co-star Simon Pegg tells the New York Daily News, "When you see the movie, you know he survived because he's been doing press for it and there's been no national mourning, but when you're actually on the ground and watching him on the plane, there's a whole other degree of terror because you don't know how it will turn out."

MCQuarrie insists they weren't worried about Cruise, 53, falling from the plane because he was safely secured by a harness, but they were concerned about unexpected flying objects striking down their leading man.

He says, "We were never thinking about, 'Oh my God, he's going to fall.' We were thinking about the rock that was going to kill him on takeoff or the bird strike that was going to kill him or the unexpected acceleration that was going to kill him.

"Even the tiniest grain is going to get sucked through the propellers and fired back right at Tom and in one case, a piece of debris hit him in the chest and the only thing that was there to absorb it was the safety harness. It was so tiny, it was like a grain of salt, but he said it felt like a bullet was hitting him in the chest. Now if a larger rock hit him in the chest or smaller debris hit him in the face, then the show's over."