Tom no stranger to danger

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IOL pic jan2 tom cruise Reuters (File image) Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise has been doing his own stunts since he was 12.

The 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' actor is famous for doing his own stunts - from motorbike chases, to hanging off the 124th floor of the tallest building in the world - and has been teaching himself from a very early age.

He told Playboy magazine: "From as early as I can remember, I wanted to ride motorcycles and race cars. I wanted to do jumps and stunts. Every birthday I wanted only a motorcycle. By the time I was 12, I'd bought my own.

"I crashed a lot, because I like to go fast. I'd create ramps to try to jump over garbage cans on my bike, figuring it out on my own."

However, the 49-year-od star's stunts weren't always successful and he suffered his fair share of injuries, including breaking his nose three times.

He added: "I've broken my leg. The first time [I broke my nose], I got hit by a fastball. Another time, I got hit with a baseball bat by accident.

"Then I rejarred it on a motorcycle. No one thought about helmets or pads back then. When I was 18, on the set of 'Taps', I met the stunt guys. I was like, 'You train for stuff like this?' Back in the day there were no videos of this stuff."

Tom continues to train hard for all his films, and sometimes surprises even himself with how much he bulks up.

He added: "For 'The Last Samurai' I spent a year training six hours a day, seven days a week to be able to handle a sword and do it on uneven terrain. You've got to build the body up for impact. I remember trying to put my shirt on at one point and couldn't because my forearms had gotten so big." - Bang Showbiz

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