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Tom Cruise's Legendary Stunt Career Started With Garbage Cans And A Hospital Stay

While Tom Cruise has never really limited himself to one specific genre of film, one can make the rather persuasive argument that he's best known for his action roles. His "Mission: Impossible" series has been running since 1996, and the next film is due out this year. Of course, when it comes to action films, stunts are just a big part of the gig, more often than not done with professional stunt performers. However, Cruise has made a name for himself as something of a daredevil, and there are many stunts that he's elected to perform himself.

Many of these stunts have led to breathtaking moments of cinema, like pretty much any action sequence that takes place in every "Mission: Impossible" movie. Cruise has been adamant that he does a lot of his own stunt work because it's a basic part of who he is as an actor (per The Hollywood Reporter), but how did this love for action sequences start? Well, the star has an interesting answer to this very question, and it involves garbage cans and an extended stay at a hospital.

Cruise tried ramp jumping over garbage cans as a child

During an interview with "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," Tom Cruise talked about the upcoming latest entry in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, which is titled "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One," and naturally enough, the conversation steered toward Cruise and his obsession with doing stunts. According to the actor, it's not really anything new in his life. He told a story of the times when he was a child and attempted to jump over trash cans using questionable lumber he stole from junk yards.

"I just try to do everything I can," Cruise said. "Use every tool that I have to entertain the audience. So, even as a little kid, like, I used to steal lumber from a junkyard or, you know. And then I'd ride down the hill as fast as I could and hit the ramp and go over garbage cans. You know, I tried to do that when I was a kid. It didn't work."

Cruise goes on to say that he would usually end up crashing through the wood instead and hit the trash cans, which would lead to him spending time in the hospital for days while recovering from his injuries. Clearly, his desire to do potentially dangerous stunts didn't just come out of nowhere. And while fans may worry for his health or safety, it's hard to argue that it hasn't led to some truly exhilarating action sequences. Either way, the actor has come a long way since childhood adventures with trash cans and failing DIY wooden ramps.